Remote Working, or as everyone is putting it these days, Work From Home (WFH) is the new cool everyone is talking about. Due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus, remote working suddenly became a requirement for everyone, and not all companies were ready for such a significant change. Some employees may permanently shift to WFH after experiencing its impacts and how well they have settled with it.
While employees are enjoying working, being in their own secluded space (minus their co-employees), companies are having a hard time accepting and adapting to such an unusual change. Companies that are big size-wise have employees working for them at home in different time zones from God knows how many countries and cities. They have work coming in all and any time of the day. Managing and assigning work to employees becomes difficult.
How Can Companies Implement The WFH Model With Ease?
While managing everything can be challenging, here are some strategies to implement a Work From Home model-
- Start From The Top
You know what they say, charity begins at home. So, to make your employees feel at home (not literally, because they would already be at their homes), the CEO must have an active engagement. The CEO has to be comfortable with his employees, communicate with them, be open to their suggestions and complaints, and be willing to make positive reinforcement. The CEO should be approachable, and employees shouldn’t feel intimidated by him. He should know when to praise his employees and when to give them suggestions about their work reported. In short, to make employees follow remote working, the CEO needs to go remote as well.
One risk with remote working is that employees spend way too much time online and on their desktops, hence working rather unhealthily. Therefore, thinking about their own people’s health, the CEO should talk his employees into taking some time off their devices and spend it doing something they like.
- Strengthen The Company’s Vision, Mission, And Values
Companies should be able to explain the existence of their business and what they are trying to achieve. The organizations can then develop objectives they would want their employees to reach so that employees can have a clear, direct vision of where they are heading and what they are contributing to the company by doing so much work.
Once you explain to your employees the company’s vision, they can pick up where they left off as a group to work towards the same professional goal(s), therefore adjusting work among different time zones.
- Be Genuine And Open
They say any successful team begins with trust. In order to bring the most out of its employees, a company should trust its employees enough to know what type of work they are capable of. To nurture this trust, superiors must be open to all employer-employee communication chains. Sensitive topics shouldn’t be waved off; they should be discussed. Companies need to deal with all and any issues related to their employees. Any secret goals will eliminate all the efforts put towards building internal trust, even digitally. Superiors should learn to be polite and diplomatic even in digital terms, which will help show perfection within teams.
- Promote Organizational Culture Digitally
Interpersonal relationships and work cultures happen in an upfront manner in a physical environment in offices, and business decisions happen digitally, even in the physical world. Now that everything has gone remote, organizations should keep in mind the ways to keep up with the culture and not let it die. As shown in the first season of The Office, an American TV sitcom, the majority exchange of talks and ideas happen over water-coolers. Since it’s the only place where employees can commonly meet because otherwise they would be separated by their departments, jokes and high-five sharing occur only at water coolers. So, organizations need to set-up virtual water coolers, in the form of group chats, video calls, etc., to bring out employees’ personal side with their co-workers. You can also promote the technological advancement of your organization by explaining topics like the payroll guide, your leave management system etc.
- Use The Right Tools
Companies need to utilize every digital tool they have to ease communication. They can connect to their employees over texts, emails, and video-chats. Companies should let employees use the tools they are comfortable with to help a smooth discussion.
Companies need to be flexible with what online tools they use, especially at a time like this.
- Create Remote-first Occurrences
Companies should make a communication channel on apps like Hangouts, where employees can talk to each other, add or react with emojis and behave as they would with each other on a typical working day. Similar groups can be created by organizations where employees can celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and promotions. In simple terms, everything that employees would do in a physical world, they should be encouraged to do virtually with the help of these communication channels.
- Engage In Creative Conflict Handling
If an employee is having trouble performing in a physical office space, he would be called in the office, given the necessary suggestions and time to deal with whatever is wrong. But what to do if this happens during the time of WFH? How can organizations take necessary actions at the time of WFH?
All it takes is a little more communication and time than usual. The superiors would have to explain in detail (in writing) what they have done wrong, teach values by talking to them, and proceed to whatever action fits the existing conflict.
- Show Empathy
In a physical office environment, people show compassion for each other in so many ways. They show that they care by sharing their food, taking each other out for lunch, helping a fellow employee with his work if he is ill, etc., but none of this can be done in a remote working space. So, superiors must create other ways for employees to show their care for each other by encouraging them to send happy and caring texts and send greeting cards (well wishes or get-well-soon, depends on the situation) and flowers for those having a bad day.
As mentioned above, change is inevitable. Changing according to technology is just something we have to do; we even have to consider this a part of human evolution. We have all now become digital. Just like change, remote working has also become inevitable due to the rise of the virus. Remote work has now become a vital part of our lives, and for organizations to slowly implement it and help their employees get used to it, the techniques mentioned above will help.