If you weren’t comfortable with a corporate culture of flexible work schedules and telework, the last two years probably forced you to reconsider. In fact, these arrangements can be crucial in recruiting top performers.
But even if you’ve fully adopted the post-covid flexible work model, there still might be a few hiccups and inefficiencies in your virtual workplace. Here are some ways to make the most of it:
Formalize. It’s hard to plan your space needs when you don’t know how many people will be in the office. If you’re going to offer remote work arrangements, create a list of acceptable options.
For example, some companies have mandated several days of overlap for all employees every week. Others have asked their employees to standardize a weekly schedule of days in and out of the office.
It’s up to your executive team to decide what to offer, but whatever the arrangements, put them in writing and ask employees to sign an agreement to be where they say they’ll be during the workday.
Support. Robust IT support is a must for companies with teleworking employees. Depending on the sophistication of your employees’ technology needs, your IT team may want to consider quarterly audits and cybersecurity (re)training to be sure everyone’s remote setup is high functioning and secure.
Just as important is another form of support—support for managers who are managing remote workers. Some managers have had difficulty measuring productivity or have been frustrated by employees not being as accessible as they would be in the office. Addressing these issues—and expectations—are excellent topics for manager training.
Communicate. Having an in-and-out or largely remote workforce means there’s less impromptu “water cooler” interaction among employees. Many workers miss this casual type of conversation and the opportunity to discuss ideas with colleagues on the fly.
Having town hall-style meetings once a month, lunch-and-learns by video call, and scheduled team catch-ups can make up for a lack of in-person exchange and collaboration. If you’re making changes, whether to policies or personnel, overcommunicate them. Use every channel—email, phone, and messaging—recognizing that everyone has different communication preferences.
Also, holding regularly scheduled all-hands video or in-person meetings is an easy way for employees to hear from the executive team about new initiatives. Put it on the calendar for the same time each month so your team comes to expect it.
Engage. The virtual office environment presents an opportunity to make in-person experiences much more rewarding. Any opportunity to gather the team together in “real life” for parties, volunteer opportunities, and ballgames will help your team build the relationships that lead to a more productive, happier workplace.
Contact Dembo Jones today and we’ll share the ideas, strategies, and results that will set you up for success.