Adapting your day-to-day workflow to the current crisis isn’t as straightforward as “working from home.” Major tech companies are now offering permanent remote office options to staff members. We recently hosted a virtual event with incredible speakers from Trinet and Postclick to discuss the transition of their workforce entirely from offline to online and will speak on the benefits of leveraging flexible office space.
Watch the webinar recording here:
Company culture is a vital part of a company's identity. With strong core values, a company is more likely to have greater employee retention rates and low turnover. Studies show that company culture plays a huge factor in employees’ productivity and overall happiness at work. Additionally, employees take more pride in their work when the company has a cohesive vision.
Maintaining company culture in a remote setting requires focused efforts from leadership to support and engage employees. By reinforcing and strengthening the company culture, company leaders can foster a positive mindset and greater performance among their teams.
For distributed teams, it’s important to ensure that employees have the desk essentials that they need to work from home. Olivia Bair, Sr. Director of HR at Postclick, mentioned that they allowed their employees to come into the office and grab anything from their desks that would improve productivity in their work-from-home setups, whether that be monitors, keyboards, desks, work chairs, etc.
Postclick is also providing a work-from-home stipend to all of its employees. The stipend can be used to enhance their work-from-home experience in any way that employees see fit: food, mental health services, or donations to charities of their choice. Olivia highlights the importance of taking care of employees in and outside of work during these difficult times.
When onboarding virtual hires, it’s crucial to support their work-from-home setup by shipping them computers and other office essentials. But, equally as important, new employees need to be included in virtual activities so that they feel welcomed in their new role.
Employers should consider sending new hires care packages with company-branded swag, or planning a “welcome lunch” in which the whole team orders delivery and eats together on a Zoom call. These gestures will make new hires feel welcomed and connect them to their new coworkers.
Maintaining a clear line of communication with new employees is also vital in a remote work setting. Providing training and continuing to instill confidence through frequent communication with new hires will facilitate a smooth transition and ongoing success. Additionally, by having your team set manageable, realistic goals, you can encourage employees to work towards a unified goal.
Olivia Bair, Sr. Director of HR at Postlick, recommends planning fun and collaborative “theme days”. For example, companies may schedule:
These events give employees a chance to engage with their coworkers outside of work. For more ideas, check out OnePiece Work’s list of fun, engaging virtual activities to help remote workers connect.
Keep an open line of communication with your team. Check-in on them daily, offer them support. Simply asking: “How are you doing?” goes a long way. Many people are enduring an enormous amount of stress in these times, and communication is important in managing that stress. As a leader, it’s crucial to let your team know they can come to you with anything and can tell you if they need to take a personal day or mental health day. Virtual communication tools including Slack, Google Hangouts, and Zoom can facilitate this level of communication.
Emphasizing transparency within your company will serve you well while operations are carried out remotely. To do this, consider making forms for your employees to fill out with anything that they may need to ask senior leaders or the executive team. Additionally, increase the frequency of your “all hands on deck” meetings for greater collaboration. For example, instead of just once per week, hold this meeting twice per week.
Because the work/life boundaries are so blurred when working from home, make sure to limit your work to working hours only. It can be easy to work through your “lunch break” or keep working after usual office hours when your home becomes your office. Phillip Alvarado, Industry Director of Sales, Technology at TriNet, recommends blocking off your calendar for personal work time. That way, no one can schedule a last-minute meeting with you during your essential work hours. This will ensure that you can start and stop work on time.
For improved team productivity, set up virtual work sessions with team members to bounce around ideas, complete training, and check other items off of the to-do list. A team reminder on the calendar to eat lunch will also serve workers well in maintaining a productive schedule. Within your team, virtual team building events can work similarly to virtual company events in boosting cohesion.
The transition to remote work has been difficult for many. But, with thoughtful business practices and a commitment to caring for fellow workers, companies can thrive with a remote team. Below are some helpful tips to ensure your transition back to the office is an easy one:
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