The remote office model has always been a great option for businesses. It allows people to connect from across the world, staying engaged despite the obstacle of physical distance. Some companies operate entirely on a remote work model, while others give their employees the option to telework as a benefit. But what about companies who prefer the in-office model – how do they adjust to having to suddenly work remotely?
That last question is one plaguing many business owners’ minds right now. The spread of COVID-19 and current social distancing practices have left many businesses wondering how to successfully shift their practices to the remote work model without losing momentum. The sudden remote change has drastically affected hiring and talent searches and have left business owners and entrepreneurs wondering how to mentor new talent and retain their existing talent.
At HIRECLOUT, we too have switched to a mostly remote model to keep everyone safe. We’ve come up with a few ways to help you make the most of social distancing and keep your business and employees motivated and focused during this sudden remote shift.
Now that we don’t have the luxury of walking up to someone’s desk, online communication methods and phone calls are more important than ever. This is a hectic time, and emails can get lost in the shuffle. If you haven’t already, consider downloading messaging software like Microsoft Teams or Slack to keep your team connected.
Services like Microsoft Teams allow you to chat IM-style, make audio and video calls, and hold video conferences with multiple people. It may not be exactly like being in the office, but it’s the next best thing.
Think outside of the box
Now is the time for innovative thinking and problem solving skills to shine. Even though this is a stressful time, take a minute to think about the solutions that are available to you. They may not be obvious.
For example - if your business relies heavily on people engaging with one another, how can you do this effectively without having meetings in person? Instead of going the email route, set up a Zoom meeting and engage that way instead. Extraordinary obstacles require extraordinary solutions, and this is a great time to practice that.
You may not realize it, but there are a lot of autonomous things we do every day when we get to the office - and we don’t think about them because the environment triggers a sort of ‘autopilot’ and we go about our routine. Since we are all facing a sudden environmental shift, it might be difficult to really think about what we do every day and what order we do it in.
Keep yourself and your employees organized with processes that happen in the office. Create a to do list for tasks that need to be completed, create a live document on SharePoint, Google Docs, etc., and keep track of what needs to get done.
Training employees? No problem. Take the same approach and write out concepts that you’ll go over every day and hold video conferences as a follow up. Creating a schedule will help you stay on task and give everyone a visual cue to what they’ve achieved over time. The more organized things are, the more productive your team will be. The more productive your team the more you know your remote work model is successful.
There will be a learning curve as your company switches to your new remote work model, especially for employees that have not had the remote work experience. Help each other through the process. People will have questions about how to best stay organized, tasks may not get done quite as quickly, and it might be difficult for some to find the best way to be productive in their new environment.
Don’t get frustrated and remember that, as a team, you’re all working towards the same goal. Doing your best to provide mentorship will also help employee morale.
Check-in with each other on a personal level
Video conferences don’t always have to be about business. As humans, we need to connect on a personal level as well, and we’re all no doubt feeling more than a little stress because of COVID-19, social distancing, and the news. It’s hard to find any light in all of this confusion.
Take time out to check on your employees. Encourage them to do the same. Send a quick email asking how they are doing. Have ‘coffee breaks’ together on a video call. Don’t forget that mental health is an important part of productivity.
This is a tough time for everyone, businesses and employees alike, but we will get through it together. For business owners and leadership, this is a great time to implement these practices to keep your current employees motivated. It will not only help employees stay on track, but cultivating a positive work culture away from the office will encourage your employees to stay with your company after the hardship.
If you’re looking for resources and business advice on employee retention, the tech market, and hiring practices, trust HIRECLOUT to give you the information that you need. Call us at 818.882.2000 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're here for you.