My colleagues and I sat down to come up with a few tips from our experience advising clients on their workplaces that may help you out:
STEP 1 Communications:
Communication is key with any change. Leaders should be consistent with their messaging and keep it transparent to maintain trust. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t have all the answers, just follow through when you find the answers. This will help employees feel prepared and ready to adapt to any developing situation. Use multiple avenues for communication; email doesn’t always cut it. Leverage your internal website, social channels, and even printed signs to make sure people are informed.
As a company that relies heavily on in-person interaction, we at Savills are learning how to integrate these strategies into our own working patterns without missing a beat.
STEP 2 Technology:
There are many seamless ways to virtually connect with colleagues and clients. Instead of in-person meetings, deploy a universal video conferencing platform with screen-sharing capabilities. Platforms such as Zoom, Webex, Google Hangouts and GoToMeeting are effective alternatives to replace valuable face time. Start testing your wifi and your employees’ remote access now to ensure no loss in productivity if employees work away from the office.
STEP 3 Space:
Everyone loves the comfort of home, but it is important for employees to carve out a space free of distractions. Clear off a surface, preferably a height adjustable desk and ergonomic chair, and set up shop. Potted plants, views of the outdoors, natural daylight, clean air and comfortable temperatures have all been linked to increased productivity. Noise-canceling headphones, a surface to write on, organization systems and a printer are also nice to haves. In some cases, companies might consider contingency plans at coworking locations to accommodate portions of their workforce.
STEP 4 Culture:
People generally enjoy the social benefits of gathering in a common workspace – no matter how much they may grumble about the commute or office temperature. Many question the unintended effects that remote working may have on collaboration, company culture and camaraderie. Keep building culture through internal social channels – think Slack, Gchat, Teams and more. Encourage teams to schedule regular meetings with video capabilities for some face time.