It’s fair to say that over the past week, the world of work has drastically changed, and the UK is (where possible!) embracing life as a remote workforce. Although the circumstances are incredibly challenging on a global scale, it is important to accept that we are at a pivotal turning point and how we approach this new working dynamic may define the future of working as we know it.
Despite the situation being forced upon most of us very suddenly, the idea of working from home has been forecast as one of the revolutionary ways our society is set to change in the long term. Over the last couple of years, we have worked hard to transform the digital office but have done little to truly acknowledge and utilise its power. At the touch of a button, we are spoilt for choice – we can video call our co-workers, share screens to offer information and guidance in real-time, we can send files in an instant and access networks rather than taking home stacks of paperwork. We can even embrace collaborative work forums to share ideas and celebrate achievements; but can it also be said that we lose something when we move into the digital realm?
Despite acknowledging all the benefits of online working, translating a company’s culture through digital form remains one of the biggest challenges. There are, however, several tools available that can aid the transition and here at Whiteoaks, we’re embracing them:
- Create a virtual hangout space for your team. Platforms such as Slack, Microsoft Teams and Zoom mimic social chat forums where the casual conversation encourages collaborative input and when used, they help provide a neutral space for all members.
- Stick to a routine to differentiate working hours and social hours. When starting the transition from office to home, it’s often challenging to remain focused or in contrast, to switch off! Establishing boundaries and utilising your calendar to help structure your day as if you were physically in the office can significantly increase productivity and help you maintain that all important work life balance.
- Communicate. Simple but effective and key. With remote working, impromptu run-ins are few and far between so communicating with your team is essential for progress and unity. As mentioned previously, popular communication tools have become reliable enough that they provide an alternative to in-person discussions, but don’t let that be the driving force for all remote discussions. The most successful methods of communication are the ones that are tailored for the user and although there are so many apps available, never underestimate the value of picking up the phone and indulging in an organic conversation.
These are just a few of the tools available that can help your team truly translate company culture from the office to the home, not just throughout the next few weeks, but to form a strong foundation for the future of organisations.