Across the spectrum of work environments, the first three have been in practice for more than a decade. The fourth is relatively new and deserves a more detailed look.
Many businesses have discovered that employees are as productive working from home as they were in the office. This revelation has cast into question the need for an office and its associated real estate costs, particularly with the ability of technology like Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 to bring employees together in a secured way that still empowers collaboration, instant communication like you might have in an office, and productivity.
Yet many businesses still need an office. Concerns of employees for safety must be considered. So too, many employees may have that expectation to be able to work from home as needed.
A borderless work environment had its advantages too. Your business instantly has access to all the talent the world has to offer. And in the case of gig workers, they may be willing to trade the freedom to work whenever for full-time benefits.
Even if your business must be location-based, you likely need to consider adopting an alternative work environment for some of your workers. Employee expectations have changed. You may also find that the top talent you want to hire seeks more flexibility in work schedule or location.
Quite simply, there are many factors to consider as you build a flexible work policy.
The pandemic sent many employees to work from home. In a way, it forced businesses to adopt a flexible work policy. The practices implemented by sudden need, however, should not be presumed the best for your business.
Even if you have employees working remotely full-time or on a hybrid schedule, you should consider developing a defined policy. This will help current employees to understand expectations and establish guidelines and expectations for new hires.
You can find a lot of different ideas online regarding how to do this. Ultimately, they come down to the following five steps.
Change management may be one of the biggest, most important elements an organization can practice to ensure adoption and the smoothest transition to a new work model.
A change management process is not difficult, though you will benefit most from moving through the process in step-by-step process.
Technology stacks can get out of hand quickly when you add new tech as needed. In 2020, that happened a lot and it made sense. For many, staying operational was the goal above all.
Now, however, it may make sense to review what you have, identify the gaps, and implement new solutions to create a seamless, streamlined infrastructure.
Some of the top technology resources to consider:
Cloud computing enables access to data and productivity tools wherever your employees are working. There are three types of cloud solutions:
Read more about cloud computing in these articles and whitepapers.
Whitepaper: Position yourself for success computing in the cloud
Ebook: Cloud migration guide
Article: Hybrid clouds: an ideal choice for most businesses
Article: 8 benefits of a managed cloud service
There are really two questions to consider when looking at the tools your employees use.
You could add a third as well – does the technology we’re using meet our security needs?
Microsoft Office tools, now called Microsoft 365™, may be a standard in business, but it may be worth considering whether you have the best setup and are using them to their fullest.
Of course, you may still need to print. And how will you capture data on paper documents or convert those documents to digital format. A lot of our processes have gone digital, but not all.
One of the best places to start to evaluate productivity are the data and document entry points. This includes software productivity tools for your PCs, laptops, tablets, and smart devices. It can also include the applications you run on your multifunction devices and printers, especially in offices where these devices continue to play a big role in day-to-day operations.
Seamlessly integrated and automated applications will keep your employees the most productive as they will not face compatibility issues and inefficiencies moving from one system to another.
See how Microsoft 365 can work for you.
As the business environment continues to change, you will need to be able to adapt. Even if it doesn’t change dramatically, you should still build metrics and activity reporting into your plan.
You will want to review your successes and identify where you can improve.