“Sorry I can’t work today, the trains are on strike..”
Disrupt – verb To prevent something, especially a system, process, or event, from continuing as usual or as expected
Disrupt or be disrupted, it’s a line we see churned out in an attempt to encourage people to change their ways of working, to embrace new technologies and processes, and to move into modern workplace practices. It hints at the change that is happening in the way we work today, and how in order for our businesses to survive we must evolve. All true.
Disruption, however, comes in many forms and recently our news reports are full of more traditional disruptions which threaten our very ability to operate. Strikes.
From the widescale transport strikes and protests in France to the rail strikes affecting large areas of the UK. Simply getting to work for many has been difficult if not impossible.
It’s a stark reality that many organisations are simply not equipped to cope in these circumstances, with widespread reports of heightening stress levels as employees struggle through travel chaos and even through picket lines to try to make it into office buildings.
The future is remote working
Embracing and encouraging flexible working is about more than ticking the modern workplace box. It’s also about making sure that you and your people can continue to deliver and be successful through these challenging times. When your business runs like clockwork whether your employees are at a desk in your office or safely settled at home, strikes and other disruptions are far less likely cost you time and money.
Flexible Working – getting started
Only around a third* of organisations currently enable remote working if yours isn’t one of them it’s time to ask why not? Set yourself up for success by starting with these key things:
The right kit
It goes without saying remote working usually requires a phone and a laptop but have you considered:
∙A reliable broadband connection. (Don’t be defeated if your home connection isn’t great, I run my home office on a home 4G wifi device) and appropriate VPN and system access.
∙A decent webcam or video device? this can really make an enormous difference in engagement and productivity and is a must for any long term remote teams.
The right culture
Lack of participation and isolation are often concerns with remote workers but with a few tweaks to your everyday habits this is easily overcome:
∙Add a video option to your team meetings and stand-ups, everyone can then ‘be there’ and benefit from that face to face contact regardless of where they physically are.
∙For leaders – spend one on one time in video with your team, this is as good or I’d argue better than finding meeting rooms or trying to chat in busy canteen areas – although I admit you do have to bring your own coffee!
The right tech
The way we set up our digital workplaces can have a real impact on the effectiveness and happiness of our remote workers:
∙Team collaboration platforms like Webex Teams, Microsoft teams or Slack enable working out loud in a really effective way, places or channels for project discussions, sharing content and co-creation means you no longer have to share a table to truly work together.
∙Video/Web conferencing solutions like Webex, Zoom or Blue Jeans make it easy to spin up a face to face meeting with colleagues and customers alike. Don’t compromise on this – quality really does count here.
∙Communities and Networks like Workplace or Yammer keep your people at the pulse of your business, with discussions, crowdsourcing, knowledge sharing and network building far beyond what’s possible in the confines of your local office space.
Embracing even just some of these elements can help keep your business moving when others around you have no choice but to stand still.
Not sure where to start?
Employees won’t use your new digital workplace tools if you don’t tell them why and teach them how. Sei Mani gets everyone using new tools in the best ways by raising awareness, revealing the value and showing how to work smarter in this digital age. They’ll be happier and more effective. You’ll transform the business.