Companies that have long hesitated to adopt work from home options are finding that these arrangements have allowed productivity to stay on par, if not increase. Now, they are faced with the decision to continue operating remotely, or to come back into the workplace and return to normal.
Whether a company decides to fully or partly transition to remote working, it will take strategic planning to ensure that workers are equipped with the tools and resources to be as efficient as possible.
This should start with a designated home office area. Many workers have relied on kitchen counters for their makeshift workspace, but the ideal setup is a room that is solely dedicated to work. Companies should take charge in guaranteeing workers have everything they need to create a supportive work environment at home by providing a budget to go towards things like ergonomic chairs, laptops and more.
One of the more challenging obstacles to overcome when operating with a distributed workforce is maintaining a sense of community and culture. This can be accomplished by identifying how well teams are communicating with one another, as well as how meetings are being handled.
For instance, public policy consulting firm Kearns & West has shifted to hosting weekly meetings, rather than monthly, since moving to remote working. Sharif Ebrahim, managing principal at Kearns & West, even arranged a virtual farm tour for employees to add fun to their meetings.
“We’re trying to figure out how to make the firm gatherings more fun, how to make more connections and how to have conversations,” said Ebrahim.