Getting Your Employees Working From Wherever They Need To Be
Businesses are now making remote working options a standard wherever possible, letting employees decide what schedule best fits their needs – whether that’s working from home full-time to accommodate children or elderly parents, splitting time between the office and home, or heading back to the office full-time. While it may have once been considered a necessary but temporary adjustment to get through the pandemic, this former perk has now become a standard across the corporate landscape. Companies that don’t reexamine their policies could quickly find themselves falling behind the competition not only when it comes to productivity, but in keeping the best possible talent to keep their businesses running.
Covid-19 has permanently changed the business landscape, and companies now find themselves with a choice: try to immediately shift back to a pre-pandemic “normal” that no longer exists, or implement a work-from-home policy that best matches their industry and corporate vision. While there’s no tried-and-true roadmap for making this transition, there are some best practices that have emerged. Here’s some tips for creating and implementing a successful remote working policy for your business, based on the successful policies other businesses have put into place.
- Poll Your Employees. There’s not any one-size-fits-all solution for an entire workforce. Some workers have come to rely on the work/life balance working from home full time has allowed. Others find themselves longing to collaborate with their teams in an in-person setting, but able to do their individual work remotely. There’s also other employees for whom working from home is inconvenient or who simply prefer working in the office.The easiest way to determine what the best option is for your workforce is to simply ask them. Asking each employee individually what their preferred working situation is not only lets you know what type of policy you should implement, but also shows your staff that you care about them and are taking their needs into consideration. Let your employees help you determine the best path forward, and they will reward you with productivity and a sense of pride in their workplace.
- Implement Desk Hoteling or Hot Desking. Desk hoteling (or hot desking) is a system by which employees who need to work in the office on a particular day reserve a desk, workstation, or conference room through an office concierge or software. Flexibility is the primary reason to consider desk hoteling, as it allows employees to dictate where they will be working while also allowing you to maximize your square footage. Hot desking can also help cut costs for your business, allowing you to get rid of unnecessary office furniture and equipment that would otherwise gather dust.It’s not as easy as just clearing off desks and letting people check them out, however. Consideration must be paid to minimize disruptions and maximize communication. While working from a different space every time one is in the office can help break the routines workers can fall into when at an assigned space, it can also make it difficult for workers to get into a groove when their environment keeps changing. Consider keeping groups of desks meant to be assigned to specific teams or departments – that way their environments will stay relatively static, and your employees will always be able to find their co-workers for those important 2-minute conversations that can spur creative new ideas.
- Reconsider Your Real Estate. It may be time to downsize or completely eliminate your office altogether. We know that sounds completely radical, but for some businesses this may be the perfect time to reconsider whether you still need that giant office and all the overhead that comes with it. If you and your employees have been thriving from home, it may be the perfect time to move into a smaller office that meets your more minimal needs, or as a staging area for office supplies, equipments, and a meeting space.Instead of meeting in the office, your teams can easily meet at a coffee shop, park, or other location to collaborate. If someone needs a desk outside the house or a conference room for a day, there’s coworking locations and shared offices that can provide space for minimal cost on an as needed basis. If receiving phone calls is a concern, a solution like AccessDirect’s auto attendant system can ensure your distributed workforce can receive calls on their devices no matter where they are, all from a single virtual phone number.
These are just some of the creative solutions businesses can utilize in a business world that is increasingly embracing remote work and prioritizing the work/life balance of their workforce. At AccessDirect, we’ve been helping small businesses communicate more effectively no matter where their employees are located for nearly 25 years. Whether you’re just starting to embrace working from home policies or have been implementing them for a while, we can work hand-in-hand with you to make sure that your phone system meets the needs of your employees and your customers. Contact us today to find out how we can be part of your company’s work from home future today!