With so many people yearning for normalcy, it’s no wonder why several schools and businesses are attempting to return to the workplace. But as we’ve seen in recent weeks, the virus continues to spread and many institutions are failing back to a virtual work environment.
Yes, that means all of those arduous meetings with your executive team about when it’s appropriate to return to the office, the countless hours spent establishing new safety procedures for your staff, and the costs associated with preparing your buildings or office spaces…throw it all out the window (for now).
We’re 6 months into this pandemic and yet there is still no end in sight. Rather than waiting out the storm, it’s time to embrace the modern workplace.
Because of evolving capabilities of the modern workplace, many business and team leaders have come a long way from their old mentality that implementing a work from home policy will cause:
- Productivity will plummet
- Less control of daily activity
- Miscommunication will increase without face-to-face meeting time
- Culture will suffer
- Employees won’t want to come back to the office
In fact, recent studies have shown the exact opposite to be true and suggests businesses that adopt the modern workplace see benefits ranging from increased focus and productivity to improved employee satisfaction and retention.
- 87% of CIOs believe digitally empowering employees can drive at least 5% additional revenue growth over 3 years.
- Employees who work for firms that make apps available and highly accessible spend 17% less time on manual processes.
- 54% of CIOs agreed that the ability for their workforce to more easily access business applications has reduced attrition rates.
If you’re fortunate enough to be able to conduct “business as usual” from the safety of your home, it’s time to stop worrying about when we can return, stop investing your valuable time and energy into your return plans, and shift your focus to transforming your business to a digital work environment and empower your employees to from work anywhere!
Here are a few tips to operate a well-run, remote workforce:
Invest in modern technology. If you suddenly have a team of remote workers, there's a good chance they need laptops, webcams, headset, monitors, software, mobile devices, or even a high-speed internet connection. It's your responsibility as a manager to make sure your employees have the tools they need to succeed.
Drive your employees to work in the cloud. In-house servers and desktop applications are old school and much not supported by their manufactures anymore. This is intentional. They want you to start using their cloud-based solutions because they are the future.
You should consider migrating to a modern workplace now while it matters most, you will see dramatic increase in productivity and efficiencies while your employees are working from home. By providing your employees with modern technology they will be empowered to work smarter, faster, anytime, anywhere.
- Professional and secure video and chat solution
- Collaboration and project management tools like
- Online access to critical applications
- Internet based phone systems integrated into your applications
Focus on outcomes, not activity. It's not possible to manage every aspect of the work done by a remote team. Instead of focusing on activity or hours worked, focus on the outcomes and measure your team accordingly.
Embrace a culture of trust and flexibility. Any great company culture offers a work environment characterized by trust and mutual respect. One of the most crucial elements of a work from home policy isn’t included in any document. Employers need to have trust in their employees to get their jobs done when they are not working onsite.
In this current environment, your team has a lot going on in their personal lives as well. That's not an excuse for not getting things done, but you should reconsider what productivity really means. Punching a clock for eight hours is out. Regular work hours are also probably out for many people. An effective team leader should give employees the flexibility to get work done on the schedule that helps them be the most productive.
Communicate regularly, define goals and manage expectations. While these things were important in the office, they’re more important than ever before.
- Keep everyone engaged by requiring the use of video every chance possible
- Schedule, daily check-ins to review progress from the day before and what’s on the agenda for today.
- In addition to online chat and video tools, leveraging a corporate intranet on SharePoint is a great way to keep the entire company on the same page with important information
- Use the status option in your communication hub so that your team knows when you’re busy, when you’re away, and when you’re available to chat.
- Encourage your employees to call or message you for anything that can’t wait
- Set clean deadline and expectations, make sure
Have fun. Virtual happy hours and organized games are a great remote team building exercises.
As COVID continues to throw curve balls, we’re here to help you navigate evolving business challenges and make sure your company is equipped with the collaboration tools needed to keep your employees productive today while working from home, and tomorrow when they return to the office.
ANP has a team of Microsoft Office 365 consultants ready to help your business develop a digital transformation strategy to get you to the cloud. Our processes ensure a Secure Office 365 environment, with the dedicated support you need to hit the ground running. Contact us today at (215) 572 - 0111 to discuss what a modern workplace would look like for your business.