At Avanade we have embedded flexible and remote working into our culture for the last 20 years and throughout this time, have deployed a huge volume and variety of projects for our customers in this time. So, we know how to adopt it successfully. To harness the maximum potential from home working, business leaders should consider areas such as; your employee experience, corporate policies, business investment, communication policies and your culture. The key steps below will help employees adapt to a whole new way of working, which can be crucial to your business’ success.
Your employee success
One of the main challenges of remote working is the impact on employee experience. It’s a big change adapting from day-to-day interactions in person to conducting these virtually. It’s important to set expectations and guidelines for how employees work remotely to overcome these challenges.
Define which tools and platforms employees should be using, offer guidance on how to use them and define practices which are necessary for your business continuity.
Employees who aren’t used to working from home may find the change a challenge. Consider implementing a support network, for example, assigning a remote working champion to help colleagues understand how best to work from home within the context of their role and check in on employees.
Your corporate policies
Your corporate policies are key at a time when employees may be using personal devices and applications to carry out their job responsibilities, including distributing corporate assets and information, which increases the risk of confidential data being intercepted. Overcome this risk by ensuring data security and corporate policies are updated and enforced. Collaborate with your IT leaders and ensure employees have guidance on the dos and don'ts.
Your business investment
You may already have tools at your disposal that can enable effective collaboration, communication and remote working, such as Skype for Business or Teams as part of an Office 365 subscription. If you do not have access to Microsoft Teams, Microsoft is making a 6-month trial available. By partnering closely with IT, you can unlock the full value from your existing platforms, as well as identifying where additional investments could be made to improve the employee experience.
Your communication and collaboration practices
Business leaders should act as role models for employees, to ensure effectiveness in a virtual workplace. Schedule regular check-ins with teams, ensuring everyone can openly and honestly share successes and challenges. Encourage one-on-one coaching and establish a support network or mentoring system for your employees.
Make sure your leadership team recognizes success stories – at both a team and individual level. A shout out can make all the difference to employees.
Set clear priorities and expectations of roles within your teams. Assign ownership, deliverables and timelines, but place trust in your employees that once work targets are set, they’ll have the flexibility to operate in the way that suits them best.
Introducing a proactive culture as part of your remote working initiatives can go a long way in ensuring the success of your business. Encourage employees to do things differently. Ask your team to come up with ways to enhance communication, conduct regular “team retrospectives” to reflect on what can be improved. Most of all, build a culture that welcomes change.
Explore our guide to remote working in more detail - visit our website here.
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