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9 strategies to embrace an entirely remote workforce

A checklist for the new normal of working away from the office


The coronavirus pandemic has left a historic mark on society and demanded the reconfiguration of work dynamics. In this “new normal”,2 we must consider how to gain higher productivity through remote working, lower costs through powerful web tools, and attract and retain talent through improved onboarding processes. With a good 54% of people agreeing that remote working is the way forward1, it’s time to embrace these new changes and adapt.

In this post, we’ve compiled a checklist of 9 strategies to embrace an entirely remote workforce and adapt to the “new norm.” 

 

Image of a house with a text list of 9 strategies to embrace the remote workforce

Potted plant on a windowsill next to Boba Fett's helmet made out of Star Wars Lego

1. Doorstep delight 

First impressions are important. Introduce the company culture, and ensure your staff feel welcome and motivated to start work with cool and useful branded merchandise and enticing kits. Send them a desk plant to name and live in their home office while working for the company.

Working from home set up with a laptop on a stand and a secondary monitor

2. Working from home kits

Inspire them to work better with creative kits that don’t include just a laptop and a uniform. Give them something more to work with, such as monitors for the extra screen room, extended keyboards to have more reach, ergonomic chairs and laptop stands to avoid bad posture, and maybe even a backdrop for those client video meetings. The point is — get them set up.

3. Virtual advisers

Set up what’s been a sustainable dynamic for years, the “buddy system”.3 An established mentorship or buddy bond can have long-lasting benefits in the workplace. Think Batman and Robin. You may also find it useful to have someone trained in managing cultural conversations.

4. Virtual onboarding

Create a clear onboarding path for newcomers that blends eLearning, webinars, and other online activities, making it more fun. Encourage team spirit with leaderboards on quizzes, activities, and more. Celebrate the wins with prizes. Facilitate virtual breakout sessions with in-house experts on topics that are relevant to new starters. To find out more about virtual onboarding, check out this article.

                  Computer displaying a person presenting data analysis concepts.            Computer screen showing a person demonstrating the features of a Google Nest Thermostat

5. Continuous learning

With training sessions, your team is ensured a continuous upskilling of their abilities. Use a variety of learning formats to increase engagement and knowledge retention. Live streams will enhance and maximize direct communication with employees. Share information about new services and policies for your staff and new hires to be up to date. Mixing up the content will keep your employees engaged and equipped to run daily operations smoothly.

6. Create a community

To ensure a professional communication setup, set some house rules or guidelines. For example, turning on webcams in video calls, sharing call agendas in advance, and using notifications for group chats. Create groups for open, informal communication where people can ask for support, send birthday wishes, share some informative links, and set up community notice boards.4 These channels serve as support and encouragement lines to establish a steady work-life balance — with a sense of togetherness.

7. Recreate water cooler moments

Providing a “stress-free” environment is important for your employees and will gain you lots of extra points. Having a once a month, or a week, celebration or catch up with colleagues to let them unwind gives everyone a chance to enjoy a shared experience. Try implementing informal video calls with just one rule: no work-related talk. It will lift your team’s spirits and help them get to know each other better.

Two people excitedly competing in a sack jumping race. They have just reached the finish line and people are cheering behind them.

8. Don’t forget face-to-face

Remote working has its perks, but socializing in person is invaluable. Meeting in-person allows for casual encounters and memorable occasions outside of the usual working structures or business etiquette. Off-site meetings, within regulations, can also revitalize teammates as they can engage outside of their professional roles.

9. Inclusive office design

Once companies start to change their physical workspace to welcome back most of their staff, those who remain remote must also feel included. Promote collaboration with meeting rooms where video callers are accessible and their voices heard to ensure everyone has a seat at the table — home or not. Offer private rooms or booths to take calls, as well as comfortable areas that foster teamwork between online and offline employees to create a balanced work environment.

               Large open office space with lots of seating options       Single person booth for private phone calls

No time to lose

Companies can’t change the circumstances of the world, but they can adapt, survive, and evolve. Without action, teams will lose the motivation, skills, and mindset to keep moving forward. This is a time to enable your people on a local or global scale. With a general opinion of 86% of workers wanting to continue working from home5, embracing a fully remote workforce seems to be the best place to start.

Check out our whitepaper for more creative ideas on “Embracing the distributed work revolution” and get in touch with Quadmark to see how we can help you implement them.

1 IBM (2020) - “IBM Study: COVID-19 Is Significantly Altering U.S. Consumer Behavior and Plans Post-Crisis

2 Johns Hopkins Medicine (2020) - “The New Normal and Coronavirus

3 PMI (2014) “Implementing a buddy system in the workplace

4 Harvard Edu. (2020) - “Research Remotely

5 ActionPoint (2020) - “Remote Working Report

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