Best Practices For Companies to Meet the Needs of the both Office-based and Remote-based Employees.
More than 98% of professionals who work remotely want to continue working outside of the traditional office space for the rest of their careers, according to a new report by Buffer and Angel List.
Remote work is not a novel idea. The number of professionals that work remotely at least once a week has grown by 400% since 2010. Additionally, research by FlexJobs shows that telecommuting increased by 22% between 2017 and 2018.
While COVID-19 brought unimaginable tragedy around the world, the virus also forced businesses to innovate in ways never seen before. For example, the coronavirus increased the speed businesses adopted permanent remote work policies.
How can companies prepare for work after the pandemic? What are the best practices companies can use to balance both the needs of the office-based employee and the remote-based employee?
Create a Re-acclimation Plan For Employees Return
For months, professionals were forced to adapt to a remote work lifestyle. And…change is always hard! Soon, employees will be required to change again, when/if return to workplaces begins.
Professionals must re-learn workplace norms, and that will take time. And not all workers will return to headquarters or offices, as concerns of contracting the virus will undoubtedly remain and child care will be a factor. With a disparate team, maintaining mutual knowledge is a central problem of geographically dispersed collaboration and traces of these consequences or failure to do so are becoming apparent.
Part of the re-acclimation plan should include a centralized knowledge base to avoid business failure. Using cloud-based tools, like MeBeBot’s Intelligent Assistant, various subject-matter experts can edit and update a web-based, centralized library of well-defined HR, IT and operations questions and answers. This allows for knowledge to be shared, across time zones and areas of the business. Plus, this valuable information can be linked to technical support documents, policies, detailed benefits information, and other guides for addressing immediate needs.
Implement an Omni-Channel Communication Plan
One of the top hurdles remote workers face is collaboration and communication, according to a study by Buffer and Angel List. A way to overcome this hurdle is for
businesses to implement tools that foster connectivity. Some examples include Microsoft Teams, Slack, Asana, and MeBeBot.
Businesses that use MeBeBot’s Intelligent Assistant AI platform gain access to a centralized knowledge base for both office-based and remote employees. With an easy to use interface, companies can select curated questions and answers, and customize the content to fit their specific business needs.
Establish Office Hours Via a Communal Calendar
The pandemic has not only questioned where employees work, but when they work. Many employees with school-aged children have become “home school teachers” overnight.
Establishing policies on flexible work hours help many companies to not only be empathic to these challenging times, but also to ensure productivity remains consistent.
Harvard Business Review explains that remote work becomes more efficient and satisfying when managers set specific expectations for work hours and establish a team communication plan.
Teams can share their office hours or daily schedules with a cloud-based calendar tools like Google Calendar, Office365, Microsoft Teams, or Atlassian. This is especially important as time zones become a bigger factor in daily work life.
Schedule Consistent Team and Managerial Check-ins
Research shows that 43% of survey respondents shared that part of their team is full-time remote and part of the team works at an office. Managers that set expectations for the frequency of one-to-one syncs and team meetings can help bridge the gap between the two types of workers. Setting the rules of engagements for consistent check-ins is also important.
For example, set guidelines for check-ins, how often they happen, and the expected outcome(s). Topics such as “what’s the policy on remote work” and “what’s the performance appraisal standards for this year” are both questions that can be asked to MeBeBot.
With the easy to use customer portal, this information can be updated in real-time, to ensure employees receive accurate information whenever and wherever they need it .
What is your company’s plan to handle remote work when the pandemic is over? Do you have a solution to support employees’ questions in a consistent and easy to use way?
Schedule a demo to see how MeBeBot can prepare your team for the new world of work.