2020 just hastened what many have seen as a trend in the workplace for years: The use of technology to get work done when and where an employee prefers. Increasingly, while many articles and experts have shared their thoughts on the value of virtual work policies (and with the surfacing of certain CEO’s “return to work ultimatums”), I’d like to add a few of my own observations.
The teams getting ahead and the ones willing to experiment with technology — it can only amplify the best policies to support your strategy. Technology itself cannot replace building relationships and executing a solid strategy, but it can make things easier.
Your policies must be tailored to your own organization’s and individual role’s needs. Often, your policies must be broad enough to encompass many situations and job types. You may have employees with varying levels of desire or personal need.
Not everyone or role is a good fit for working virtually. While that seems “unfair” it is just a fact. Treating everyone the same is MORE unfair as it does not allow for the latitude of differences. Understanding what roles and individuals operate best with an in-person, hybrid or fully virtual setting will set your team up for long term success.
Only you can know how your business best operates. If you serve clients in an in person setting, then you have to be realistic. My husband is a handyman — he can’t Zoom in and fix someone’s light fixture.
Virtual work is not appropriate for all things all the time.
Yep, I said it.
Brainstorming, dealing with difficult issues, and other nuanced situations still are best worked out in person. There is a certain energy that is generated when individuals are in a room with one another. But, whereas in years past we’ve had a “tails in seats” mentality, gathering should be intentional and thoughtful.
I do not believe we are going to an all virtual all the time working world.
We’re seeing businesses get creative with in-person meet ups, quarterly in person retreats and other ways to gather. There is a certain energy about being in person that builds and strengthens relationships.
The current landscape of work opens up new opportunities for creative staffing, flex work and job sharing in ways we could not have imagined 10 years ago. I’m seeing more people move to our rural community because they don’t have to drive into an office 5 days a week.
Businesses that will succeed in this climate are willing to do the hard work to set themselves apart.
What will set YOUR business apart?
–>The ability to create and coach around clear expectations
–> Trusting your employees to get the work done
–> Being intentional on how and why you bring people in the office (and communicating the reasoning)
–> Offering opportunities for team and skill building
–> Getting real about what your business needs and how your team can help you achieve it.
Does your team need a partner in these uncertain times? Schedule a call to learn how we partner with businesses just like yours.