The COVID-19 pandemic has made the world re-evaluate so much about how we work, including the office itself.
Businesses everywhere are making work-from-home the new normal, with 80% of companies planning to allow employees to work remotely at least part of the time even after the pandemic threat is over, according to a survey by Gartner. At the same time, a PwC survey found that 78% of the 669 CEOs they surveyed agree that remote collaboration is now the status quo for how we work.
- Give them a place to go, when necessary. A quality home office setup can be effective enough most of the time for your remote employee. But, when they need a space to meet with clients, inviting them to a coffee shop isn’t always the best — or most productive — strategy. Instead, consider setting up a virtual office. These offices offer on-demand meeting rooms and private offices that your employee can use when they needed. To learn more, visit Intelligent Office.
- Check-in more frequently. When working from home, it can be easy for employees to feel cut off from their coworkers, especially those in leadership with whom they have less interaction normally. To help foster the connection between employees, it will be necessary to keep in contact more often. This is especially important for younger employees who are still learning office norms and who may only be coming into the role recently, meaning they were starting with less connection to the company and their team before their work-from-home stent began.
- Emphasize the importance of a schedule. Working from home allows employees to tailor their schedule a little based on what works best for them. For example, parents may find it more conducive to their day to start working early, so they can end their day a little earlier when their child gets home from school. Employees need to communicate their schedules and boundaries, so their teammates know what and when to expect them.
- Prioritize professional development. Out of sight should not mean out of mind. Don’t let your employee development initiatives fall by the wayside simply because you rarely see your team members in person. These efforts are just as important to your employee and your company as they were when everyone was working in the office. Other initiatives that should remain intact when employees work from home are anything surrounding wellness, such as providing support for mental health and offering resources for self-care.
Adjusting to the work-from-home-life can be a process for both employee and employer, but it can be effective with the right tools and guidelines in place.