This year was supposed to be so good ?
But it all came crashing down almost as soon as it began. LOCKDOWN 2
Perhaps it was a metaphor, but not the one we first imagined. Now we can see clearly the changes we need to be better.
But enough with the deep thinking.
We are where we are. And the past year has already seen us change the way we do almost everything. From visiting friends and family to shopping, and even the way we work.
While some of those changes have been more difficult than others, many businesses have found that working from home can genuinely be a viable option.
And it’s only now, due to the pandemic that we can begin to plan for how our teams will be working in the future.
Now that we’re nearing the end of the Q1 busy period and we’re approaching Q2. It seems the perfect time to think about the future. Schools are back open (yay!) And now it’s (another) fresh start in the office (or from home) for many of us.
How will your firm be dealing with these new working patterns?
• Will everyone be back as they were?
• Will some of your people be working remotely, either full or part-time?
AT THIS STAGE YOU’VE PROBABLY ALREADY WORKED OUT WHO WILL BE BACK, WHO WILL BECOME A REMOTE WORKER, AND WHO WILL DO A BIT OF BOTH
It’s possible that people will be feeling a little nervous at the prospect of coming back to the workplace, so it’s likely that more people will fall into the latter category, at least initially. And it’s these ones that you need to think about in most detail.
Consider how they will be working:
• Will they have a work-issued device to use at home and a computer in the office?
• Will they bring a laptop back and forth?
• Or perhaps they’ll use a personal device at home and a work device in the office?
Whatever you decide security should be at the forefront of your mind…
Are all of the devices updated with the latest versions of operating systems, applications, and security?
Is remote access working as it should be? Is back-up performing successfully every day?
Where devices are being brought back and forth from home to office, do you have a procedure in place should a device be lost or stolen?
Are you able to remotely restrict access to data?
Who will take responsibility for ensuring the procedure is followed?
If you haven’t already considered these things, now’s the time. You can react to issues so much more quickly when there’s a plan in place for how to handle them.
Make sure all of your people know the plan – even if it won’t affect them.
There’s nothing that will demotivate someone faster than feeling disconnected.
During lockdown, you may have relied on apps like Zoom or Skype to keep channels of communication open, and to make sure meetings still went ahead (and were productive). If that worked for you then, keep it up now. It’s great for keeping engagement high, but even if everyone is now in the office, it’s a good way to comply with distancing regulations.
We also highly recommend Microsoft Teams. It’s an amazing tool for keeping on top of projects, sharing documents, connecting with colleagues, and planning ahead (there really is so much in Teams).
If your firm hasn’t tried it, now is a good time. Add the whole team and they can chat over instant messages, video calls, voice calls, and email. They can share and edit documents, mention each other in messages, and post updates. It’s like a productive form of social media. And because of that, it’s relatively easy to get your team on-board with using it.
While we’re talking about your people, REMEMBER THOSE REMOTE AND PARTLY-REMOTE WORKERS WILL STILL NEED REGULAR CONTACT WITH THEIR TEAM AND MANAGER
Getting into semi-permanent flexible working arrangements shouldn’t be a huge upheaval.
In a perfect world, your people should be able to walk back in, sit at their desk and get going. Possibly after a little back-to-work chatter. The only changes you should notice are those put in place to ensure social distancing. If things aren’t running smoothly with your devices, network, or phones, you haven’t got the right system in place.
If you need advice on getting your office ready for staff to return to work or to carry on working remotely. We’d love to help.
GET IN TOUCH TODAY TO FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP YOUR FIRM TO WORK MORE PRODUCTIVELY.