Home office forever?

The last year has brought several changes. One of them also concerns the rapid rebirth of the work environment. Working from home is not a benefit for many of us anymore, and even companies that were used to the daily presence of their employees at the workplace began to get used to the home office regime. In previous newsletters, we focused on IT security in the era of work from home, but this time we would like to focus on employees for whom continuous work from home is a tremendous change not only in terms of work but also in terms of their personal development. How to help them better manage the new situation and create suitable conditions for them? And how to work effectively from home? Many (not only) small and medium-sized enterprises could not imagine a year ago that they could carry out their activities without the daily presence of employees in offices and physical contact with customers. But then came the coronavirus crisis and the state of emergency, and companies had to start reorienting themselves to work remotely from day to the other day. Two months after the declaration of a state of emergency, about 70% of non-manufacturing companies operated in the regime of ordered work from home, including those that until then “did not believe” in the home office for various reasons. Internet connection, the introduction of remote disks, electronic documents (e-files), remote login to the ERP systems, technologies for work from home were available to many companies even before the crisis. A rejection of home office mostly lay in fear of the unknown or distrust in the efficiency of employees in the home environment. However, the coronavirus completely changed the rules of the game, and the original benefit suddenly became an everyday reality. Today, many companies operate in a full or at least partial home office regime, and experts agree that we will not return to a fully “pre-crisis regime”, although enthusiasm for working from home has declined quite a bit for many people. Surveys show that employees would most often welcome a home office to be at least twice a week, and they would like to spend the rest of their working time in the office, surrounded by colleagues. It is social contact and communication between employees that are as important in the long run as functioning technologies or know-how. Therefore, we bring you some practical tips on how to set rules in your company in today’s times’ difficulties:

Customize technologies

Implementing a home office goes hand in hand with the use of modern technologies, some of which may be new to your business. However, this initially involves investment – whether in cloud solutions, employee control systems, ERP solutions (Do you want to read more about ERP? Try our newsletter HERE), etc. In this case, try to proceed conceptually and do not be afraid to turn to experts who will help you choose the right tools. Do not forget your company’s overall IT strategy.

Edit processes

Business processes also require attention – many of which can still be set to work from the office. Whether it is purely internal or customer-focused processes, do not be afraid to turn to experts for optimization. How to effectively analyze individual processes? You can read about it in our other newsletters.

Revise the number and length of “calls”

Experience shows that many companies, especially large corporate companies, have introduced several team calls and activities with the transition to work from home, which takes an enormous amount of time and is often perceived by employees as a “punishment” for working from home. Try to review these activities and find a balance by maintaining and supporting contacts between team members and time to work on individual tasks. Our experience shows that a suitable team may be, for example, a team-wide call once a week, which will include a sapid activity to support the sharing and development of experiences of individual team members.

Ask your employees

If you have not already done so, prepare a questionnaire for employees and ask them what they would welcome when working from home and what they do not mind. Be open to their ideas and comments. With the help of them, you can determine in which direction the further development of your company will go.

Do not give up on internal communication and networking

Information sharing, conferences, company-wide events, welcoming new employees. Most events in the pre-crisis period ended in networking, where people could relax and get to know each other better. How to deal with them online? Try to come up with an interesting interaction for the employees.

Customize benefits

Working from home has completely changed the perception and composition of corporate benefits. Not only did the home office become a standard benefit, but it also partially or completely “took over” several original benefits for employees, such as refreshments at the workplace or various relaxation zones. It is, therefore, necessary to look at the composition of benefits and adapt it to the new situation. Remember that the mental well-being of employees is now getting enough work and try to support it. Mental well-being is a great pillar for employees to perform their work in the required quality and be satisfied with their work. After all, working from a dining chair in the kitchen, as many of us used to in March 2020, is not the ideal solution in the long run. Want to learn more about how to make working from home a bit easier and more efficient? We are here for you, do not hesitate to contact us!