WHERE we want to work in the future “considering Corona” is something we highlighted in the last blog post: According to the Microsoft 2021 Work Trend Index, after a certain period of adjustment, the desire to continue working, at least partially, in a home office is now growing among a majority of employees worldwide: Hybrid work, flexible work, flexwork is the motto. Today, we are asking HOW: What do flexwork and remote leadership mean for collaboration, how does the corporate culture have to change, and what can management, in particular, adapt to?
How to Flexwork – 5 recommendations from Dinotronic
Flexwork is about constantly adapting to current conditions by working flexibly in terms of time and place. Working flexibly in terms of time means moving away from rigid work models and fixed working hours – toward flexible working hours, trust-based working hours, part-time work and flexible vacation arrangements. Employees work according to capacity and can be flexibly deployed where they are needed and work where it suits them best. Because flexible working also means moving away from compulsory presence in the office and toward home offices and open coworking spaces
The difficulty with flexwork is primarily social aspects: loneliness, alienation, lack of personal exchange (office gossip), and more distractions and disruptive factors in the home office/outside the office. For flexwork to work, there needs to be functioning communication channels, strong ownership by all employees, and clear rules or at least recommendations on how to structure the way they work. We have compiled 5 tips for employees from our own experience – but by no means do we claim to be exhaustive. On the contrary: Feel free to share your experiences and tips with us in the comments!
- Define your working hours and availability clearly – also in front of your colleagues, e.g., in MS teams by the availability/not disturbed status and try to avoid distraction by children, partners or pets during this time.
- Reserve time for concentration! Consciously use the DnD (Do not Disturb) mode and respect it with others (for example, with the help of Outlook Focus Time).
- Schedule fixed breaks between appointments – there’s a handy Outlook feature for that, too – and be sure to keep fixed breaks (especially the lunch break). Use the time for movement and a look into the distance to spare your eyes.
- Move interpersonal activities with colleagues into the digital realm: virtual lunch table, online game groups, digital coffee break…
- Always use the right collaboration tools, follow guidelines and respect Dos & Don’ts even in the home office (neat clothes, tidy environment, avoid noise with the new noise reduction in MS Teams, etc.).
How to Remote Leadership?
Collaboration software is also the be-all and end-all at Dinotronic and our recommendation for remote management:
- Suitable collaboration software (we are happy to support you with this), be sure to define clear guidelines, tool guidelines and adapt your company communication. What is clarified by mail, which chat tool is used internally and provide professional video call backgrounds for online meetings with external parties.
- In addition, define company-wide meeting rules (punctuality, structured preparation, turning on the camera, etc.).
- Encourage your employees (and yourself) to make online meetings more interesting. Promote media skills in workshop techniques, MS Teams, general digital collaboration.
- if you have not already done so and if possible, move your file storage to the cloud. However, be sure to pay attention to data security (e.g., through MS Azure Information Protection) and compliance. We will be happy to support you here with our Cyber Security Services.
- Take the opportunity to sharpen your strategy, goals and values – and deepen them in an online workshop, as they cannot be exemplified digitally right away.
- Introduce an office day on which all employees or team members work together in the office and refrain from longer meetings on this day if possible. This promotes team cohesion, a sense of belonging and interpersonal relationships.
- Encourage yourself to build more trust with your workforce, even if you don’t have them permanently in view in the office as you used to. This will benefit your employees by giving them more freedom, self-confidence and also you yourself, as you can use the time elsewhere.
- In order to maintain an overview, establish a regular exchange with your employees, e.g., a general meeting every 2 weeks as well as regular 1:1 meeting. Do not neglect the private, personal exchange – empathy is important, especially when there is a physical distance!
- Introduce weekly standup meetings for the team-internal alignment. This way, everyone is always in the picture and knows about all projects.
- Last but not least: Equip your staff optimally, even in the home office. Don’t leave the purchase and selection of work equipment up to your employees – in the worst case, poor equipment will impair work performance and quality!
Our recommendations for the right hardware equipment in the home office
Poor equipment can lead to poor work and even affect the health of your employees! We recommend the following basic equipment (in addition to a powerful notebook):
- 2 monitors or 1 ultrawide monitor
- Ergonomic mouse and keyboard with wrist-friendly mouse pad, even better: ergonomic chair and height-adjustable table
- Headset and loudspeaker- Attention: The call quality when making phone calls is not the same in every case (VOIP problems with other phone providers etc.)
- This is also part of the basic equipment: clarity regarding the private use of business devices and vice versa. Keyword Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and data security.
We also make no claims to completeness when it comes to our recommendations for remote leadership and the right home office equipment, and we look forward to hearing your experiences and tips! Please tell us how you assess the latest developments and where you see a need for action. Is your company well prepared for flexwork and “the time after Corona”?