The world was already pivoting towards more accommodating
work styles before COVID-19 forced most companies into a seemingly permanent
work-from-home status. Thankfully, the right technology and resources had already
been in place for years to facilitate people seamlessly working remotely,
before it became an essential way of life. So, working from home should be a
breeze, right? Well, almost.
I polled the employees from our Tel-Aviv office, who have been working from home (WFH) since March 15th, to learn both the pros and cons they’ve experienced during this time. The answers I received were honest, insightful, and surprisingly, almost identical. From the 6 questions I asked our office, their answers really got me thinking.
The WFH way of life is here to stay indefinitely, yes because of COVID-19, but also because this is the trend the world is embracing; the lifestyles people are adopting and the challenges employees face can both be met with the answer of “work from home.” Now more than ever, though, the world is experiencing a seismic shift in our daily rhythm, and we have to adapt to a new “normal.”
To embrace our new normal with success, I categorized the top
themes our employees missed most from our office culture, and I included a few
suggestions to get the wheels turning to consider for your office:
1. Environment – Set your employees up for success with a designated work space. If they don’t have the proper equipment to be successful while working from home, encourage them to reach out to their managers to coordinate getting the missing tools they need.
2. Office Perks – Companies who want to keep their office culture alive while employees WFH shouldn’t cut out the perks. It might require more planning, but employee appreciation can still take place while from home. And I’m not just talking about adding another Zoom meeting to your calendar. Opt out of that digital experience for something more tangible by sending food, swag, flowers, etc. that reminds your employees they matter and are celebrated.
3. Company Culture – We can’t pretend the culture won’t change or be impacted by the state of the world or the required WFH status. Think of creative ways not related to work that employees can engage with each other, even if it’s virtually. For example, host a non-work related competition, such as a photo caption contest.
4. Coworker Camaraderie – Host weekly fun gatherings! Don’t use already scheduled time to squeeze in socializing. Connecting with our coworkers on a personal level is vital to a healthy team and it should be prioritized. Games, trivia, happy hour, etc. are examples of easy, fun ways for everyone to gather, again even if it’s virtually.
5. Communication – Managers and leaders, your biggest and most frequent check-in with your teams should be “how is communication going?” Find out the best way to communicate individually with each employee, learn the ways in which they struggle with communication and address those needs.
6. Unequal hurdles – Not all employees will experience the same WFH issues. This should not only be acknowledged, but addressed. Find out the main obstacles your employees face, meet those as best you can. But take it one step further and find out the unique hurdles specific employees are facing and meet those when you can, too.
If you’d like to conduct the same or a similar survey for your office and want to know more about the platform or the specific questions I used, please feel free to comment or reach out to us! Happy working-from-home.
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