Whether you’re a big fan of working from home or can’t wait to return to a shared space (or are somewhere in between), it has to be said that there are a lot of positive aspects to remote work. For companies that want their employees back in the office in some fashion, it’s important to recognize those benefits and find ways to recreate them in a co-located environment.
By bringing the best parts of working from home into your building, your teams are likely to have an easier transition and may be more enthusiastic about the return. Your company can also benefit. The past year has encouraged organizations to embrace new ways of operating and engaging with staff. It would be a shame to not use those learnings to make an even better in-person environment.
To inspire your next steps, let’s consider what the Emergenetics® Attributes may appreciate most about remote work. By honoring every preference, you can feel confident that you will have something to support the needs of each employee.
Dial Up Efficiency
For many, working from home makes it easier to accomplish tasks quickly and effectively, which appeals to the Analytical Attribute. For example, employees save time by avoiding commutes and limiting unexpected interruptions that often occur in person. Identify opportunities to improve efficiency in the office like sharing best practices to run a productive meeting as well as creating quiet spaces where staff can have uninterrupted work time.
Remote work allows individuals to create a consistent schedule and often take care of practical matters – like laundry – during their day. The Structural Attribute appreciates when time is honored, so having autonomy over their calendars is particularly meaningful. While you may not be able to offer a full kitchen or laundry service (that’s great if you can!), find ways to demonstrate your concern for employees’ time by creating policies that respect life commitments or standardizing office hours and in-person meeting schedules to offer consistency.
Make Connection a Priority
Community is critical to the Social Attribute. While many individuals who work from home may be less connected with colleagues, they tend to have more time to spend with family and friends. To honor the Social Attribute and strengthen employee connections, consider hosting in-person events with teammates as well as their families and create areas of the office that are designed for gathering like breakrooms and coffee stations.
Mix Up the Workspace
When you are not co-located, you can work anywhere. That is highly engaging for the Conceptual Attribute, which is inspired by things that are new and different. Rethink your space to allow employees to sit in different locations if they wish by having open workstations or community work areas. You can also identify coffee shops or walking loops that are nearby your office to encourage staff to meet in alternate locations.
Honor Communication Styles
Remote working gives teammates more choice over when and how to engage with others, which appeals to all Expressiveness preferences. When you go back to the office, encourage in-person meetings and gatherings to support third-third Expressiveness and promote the ongoing use of chat, email and digital collaboration tools to honor first-third Expressiveness. You can also share best practices for using the different communication channels you offer.
Give Freedom to Set the Pace
At home, employees have more control over the pace that they set for their projects and the course of their day, and that approach connects to the Assertiveness Attribute. You can respect the preferences of your staff by collectively setting standards for turnaround times and expectations when you are in the office, while also allowing individuals to pace their days, including having different start and stop times.
Use Visuals to Promote Focus and Change
Working remotely makes it easier to dial in on projects or multitask the day away, which engages both ends of the Flexibility spectrum. To support your staff, try using visual cues to help team members know when their colleagues want to stay focused or are open to an interruption. Some ideas include using the “do not disturb” function on your chat channels or having red or green lights on desks to signal when employees would prefer to avoid or welcome disruptions.
While we can’t bring all of the best parts of working from home to the office, we can take inspiration from the Attributes to improve the experience. As one final tip: I encourage you to adopt a flexible approach as much as possible. There are gifts in both a remote and co-located environment, and some days will be better suited to one space over another. By giving your employees greater choice over their work environment, you can better harness their motivation and get the best of both worlds.
Are your teams returning to the office? Emergenetics can help staff to re-engage with one another and learn to optimize collaboration as well as productivity. Learn more about our solutions by clicking here or fill out the form below to connect with us today!
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