A standard video strategy throughout the business is the first thing to put in place is definitely a must for businesses.
“A rising share of employees now regularly engage in working from home (WFH), but there are concerns this can lead to ‘‘shirking from home.’’ We report the results of a WFH experiment at Ctrip, a 16,000-employee, NASDAQ-listed Chinese travel agency. Call centre employees who volunteered to WFH were randomly assigned either to work from home or in the office for nine months. Homeworking led to a 13% performance increase, of which 9% was from working more minutes per shift (fewer breaks and sick days) and 4% from more calls per minute (attributed to a quieter and more convenient working environment).”
Check out this article, DOES WORKING FROM HOME? EVIDENCE FROM A CHINESE EXPERIMENT to learn more.
The end goal?
To stay connected and continue business as “normal”, or as close to it as possible.
Many companies have discovered that they work just as well without going to the office. So now question if they need to be spending on their large office costs.
At the same time, many people are grateful to finally get back to having an office environment to work in. And having the collaborative office environment has clear benefits.
In the next 4 minutes, we can explore how to strike a great balance.
How you can trim down your overhead office costs, or forgo expanding to keep your business expenses lean… Without losing the benefits of having the office.
A work from home policy that doesn’t promote slacking off
If you’ve switched to working from home (WFH), you’ve probably wondered how it would affect productivity. When someone says “I’m working from home” does that mean they are working?
But you’ve also likely heard the research that working from home INCREASED productivity. When it’s done right…
There are 3 key parts that will help your business reap the rewards of being able to operate effectively with a WFH team.
Set clear goals and KPI’s for WFH employees.
Create your goals and figure out what activities will add up to meet these goals.
Are sales reps following up with 100% of leads to hit x revenue target?
Are customer support replying to 5 customer enquires per hour to meet your response time KPI?
Are clients and customers products/services being delivered on time?
Set a clear goal and ensure that whoever is working from home takes responsibility for reaching that goal.
Ownership of tasks and promoting a self-starting, entrepreneurial culture will keep people accountable when out of an office environment.
Communication and daily/weekly updates.
This goes without saying, but set times to have a video call with each team or have that teams leader host these calls and report a summary back to you.
This ensures people stay motivated, stay accountable, and feel that you know they are putting in the work.
One big problem is employees working from home worry that it could affect their career progression and the chance of promotion.
This is because you’re not able to “see” them working all the time. So it’s important to acknowledge the results everyone outputs.
The right software.
Balancing a hybrid WFH strategy.
When it’s done right, you could downsize your office and costs without compromising on work output. In the study above, all contact centre workers were forced to work at home. At the end of the experiment near half opted to return to the office. The result was an aggregated 22% increase in productivity for the employees who chose to stay at home. Simply because these were the employees who wanted to WFH. This clearly shows WFH is not for everyone, but is beneficial for many people. Your strategy should cater for everyone.
The data suggests it’s beneficial to be able to offer people the choice of home-working or office working. You will find a split between people wanting to WFH and wanting to work in the office.
If you want to move into a smaller office space to gain the benefits of cheaper rent, but also want to keep the benefits of the office, then consider having a hybrid strategy.
Some people can WFH whenever it suites them / every day. While others could be in the office full/part-time.
Test what works for your business and slowly transition, it doesn’t have to be overnight change.
It’s worth testing and keeping track of everyone’s targets. In the study cited above contact centre employees who WFH consistently made 13% more contacts at home than when in the office.
- There are also fewer expenses for the employee.
- They prefer not having to commute every day.
- You can downsize your office and pay less rent.
- There’s a good chance employees will be more productive with less time off.
- You have access to more skilled staff all over the world who can work remotely from anywhere.
- Employee attrition halved, meaning far less time and investment to train new employees.
There are plenty more benefits not mentioned here…
The future is leaning towards more remote work and video calling. What’s the first action steps you should take?
If you’re now considering all the benefits of having a WFH / Semi-remote WFH team, you have to ask yourself if it’s realistic for you.
Can you actually make a change today that will move you closer to the positive aspects of having a business capable of accommodating WFH staff?
The answer is a resounding yes when you have the right simple systems and processes in place to reap the benefits.
A standard video strategy throughout the business is the first thing to put in place.
This should cover what software people should use for communication.
How and where people should communicate when in the office so they don’t disrupt others.
Any other policy that makes sense for your business regarding video calls. For example, no video calling when driving machinery etc…
The second step is creating a place where you can hold professional video calls in your office:
Is it time to take off your headset and move your video meetings with clients, prospects, partners, and everyone else into the boardroom?
Having everyone crowded around a webcam doesn’t always give the best impression…
If you want to learn how to build your own video conferencing meeting room so your business doesn’t look like the muppets show, view this article here: how-to-set-up-a-video-conferencing-room
You won’t’ regret it when you can finally relax and not have to worry about tech setups, wires, wearing headsets all day etc…
Should you implement a video strategy?
There are clear benefits of all being in the same building. But it’s also not necessary to be in the office 5 days a week, 9 – 5.
When you have the right team and approach, you can reap the rewards of remote working. However, there are clear benefits of working in an office that don’t need to be lost.
It’s all about balance and being compatible with WFH employees and contractors.
This lets you downsize your office, or hold off on buying a larger space. All you need is to be video-enabled to work with a remote / semi-remote team.
To do this you need 3 things:
- Communication software
- Clear business goals
- Professional video environment with the hardware to handle high-quality group video meetings.