Tips on how to Resolve If Your Firm Ought to Keep Distant, Return to the Workplace, or Someplace In Between
After about a year of remote work and changes due to the pandemic, many executives are faced with the same crucial question: What does the future of work in my organization look like?
As a manager, you need to decide which workplace model to use, taking into account the needs of your company and your employees. In general, companies have three options: completely remote, mostly personal, or a mixture of both.
Before making a decision, it is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of each model. Here is a quick overview:
Prior to the pandemic, many organizations had almost all of their employees in an office on most days, and some tend to revert to that workplace model. Some companies have struggled to create a fully collaborative environment while working remotely, and Netflix CEO Reid Hastings spoke for many critics when he described remote working as “purely negative.”
Companies that have encountered distant challenges may want to return to easier times before the pandemic. If you have run a very successful personal organization, it goes without saying that you want to regain that level of organizational success, collaboration, and camaraderie.
Businesses need to know, however, that many employees can’t wait to get back to the office, but others have decided that they prefer to work remotely and have even moved a long way from their previous office. Upwork, a professional and hiring company, found that 23 million Americans plan to move in response to increasing remote working opportunities. These employees can opt for a new job if return to the office is mandatory.
Before going back to a purely personal model, get an idea of what the employees want, either by letting the managers collect information or by handing out an anonymous polling pulse. If your employees prefer to continue working remotely, it can be worth listening.
While some companies have struggled remotely, many previous skeptics have turned to remote working in the pandemic. Companies like Twitter have even told their employees that they can work from home forever.
The advantages of a completely remote model are obvious: With complete virtualization, companies can save office space and in-office technology such as remote-friendly conference rooms and office servers. Additionally, working remotely can give employees the flexibility they didn’t know they craved and allow them to set a better schedule for themselves without the distraction of an office being more productive and present outside of work his.
However, companies shouldn’t replicate all of their personal workflows to meet cadences and management approaches in a new virtual organization. Instead, the best remote companies help their employees engage and collaborate from home, sharing strategies to help their employees manage a remote work day, and into employee needs such as laptops, reimbursements for office supplies, or wireless Invest high-speed subsidies.
However, be aware and consider how you can accommodate the people who were looking forward to getting back to the office and who won’t be thrilled to find out that there aren’t any.
It is important to know that creating a hybrid work environment requires a careful strategy in itself. It’s not a way to avoid a clear course. Hybrid organization leaders need to create an environment where employees are always available and every team member is professionally engaged, even if they rarely come to the office.
Hybrid organizations have a clear advantage: they give every employee the opportunity to work as they please, whether that means consistently coming to an office, working from home every day, or something in the middle. Hybrid organizations also benefit from prefabricated office space for personal meetings, training, team building, and more.
However, hybrid organizations need to ensure that everyone is integrated into their work environment, regardless of where or how they work. There must be clear expectations and norms about when employees can work remotely and when they should be in the office. Executives need to carefully plan face-to-face meetings and collaboration rather than abruptly calling employees into the office for a conference. Most importantly, they ensure that employees who frequently work from home are not passed over for advancement, recognition, and social isolation.
Organizations should weigh these three workplace models carefully, not carelessly about the style that comes closest to what they have always done. You should also be ready for a healthy percentage of your workforce to opt out of the model you choose as many people discover new preferences for the way they work.
Do not try to be everything for everyone, choose your strategy, support and this and be honest with the people in your organization wherever you are going as you know that many of them are heading in a different direction after their own experience will move last year.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.