Many business owners remain skeptical of the effectiveness of remote work. They believe that this might negatively affect their employees’ productivity and efficiency in the long run. Indeed, adapting to change is never easy. But in line with recent events, it is high time you consider transitioning to a permanent or hybrid remote work model for your teams.
According to Global Workplace Analytics, 25-30% of the workforce will continue to work from home multiple days a week, or even permanently, by the end of 2021. The effects of the pandemic are far from over. Hence, you must prepare your business for what the future holds. With the right tools and strategies, you can ensure a smooth transition into a hybrid workplace model.
With that, here are some tips you should keep in mind.
1. Provide the right tools
Communication and collaboration software solutions are the two of the most important tools you need for your remote workplace. Countless software options are available to help you create an ideal virtual environment for your employees. However, selecting the right software for your business can be overwhelming.
To help you narrow down your list, you must determine your business’ specific needs first. This includes your budget, the number of employees under your care, the type of services you do, and your capability to manage and maintain the software.
For one, you should consider using a video conferencing software for your meetings. This tool allows you to check-in with your teams and collaborate with them in real-time no matter where they are in the world.
2. Ensure transparency
The key to a smooth transition is proper guidance. As your organization migrates to a hybrid workplace, your employees will be looking at you for instructions and advice. Hence, you will need a clear remote working policy. Some of the most important things to clarify are:
- Agreed work times,
- Delegated tools for clocking in,
- Regulated break times, and
- Standardized workflows.
Next, you have to ensure everyone in your organization is notified and made aware of the policies. You can inform them via email, live announcements, meetings, and public posts. Most importantly, you must ensure transparency on how to implement and monitor these policies.
3. Maintain structure
Working from home might bring some radical changes to your teams’ structure and workflows. To make sure these changes won’t affect their productivity and efficiency, you must maintain structure in your hybrid work environment.
For one, you can schedule up routine check-ins within your teams. This can be a simple call in the morning to check attendance and discuss important matters. You can also create an integrated calendar where employees can check any important events or meetings.
These simple actions can give your employees a sense of normalcy and structure despite having to work from home.
4. Evaluate and monitor
The best time to refine your hybrid working policy is during the transition. This is when you can see how all your plans, tools, and strategies would play out. But most importantly, it gives you time to improve on them before everything else becomes official.
There is nothing wrong with some bumps along the way during your transition. In fact, you can learn from such obstacles and use it to develop your remote work setup. Just make sure that you monitor the entire process and evaluate its effects and outcomes. So if something goes wrong, you can immediately swoop in and adjust accordingly.
5. Welcome feedback
As an observer, you can never really get all the needed data to determine whether your setup is working or not. Often, you need to hear it straight from your employees. After all, they are the ones directly involved and affected by the transition. Their insights are valuable in ensuring that everything goes smoothly.
There are many ways to gather your employees’ feedback. For one, you can create polls or surveys which they can answer online. You can also schedule frequent check-ins in the form of virtual meetings. This allows a freer exchange of ideas and opinions compared to simple questionnaires. Likewise, it provides more room for engagement among your teams.
Make remote work work
The future remains uncertain. More and more businesses turn to remote work to keep their operations going. However, this setup doesn’t automatically guarantee that their employees will remain productive during COVID-19. You must make sure that the transition goes smoothly, and your employees could adjust properly to this new normal.
Fortunately, there are countless tools to help your teams transition to an effective remote work setup. But more than that, you must also come up with a solid plan to guide your employees throughout the process. With these tips in mind, you can make sure that everything goes smoothly.