Home away from home
Jerry has compiled his top tips for contractors on how they can inspire their teams and customers while working in a hybrid role with their time split between home and the office.
FLEXIBLE working has certainly become more prevalent during the past year and it’s a trend that’s set to continue. We’ve put together some of our top tips on how to inspire your team and customers while working in a hybrid role with your time split between home and the office.
Some jobs, of course, cannot be completed remotely such as warehousing, manufacturing and fitters. But, when it’s possible, a whole new way of working is emerging.
The hybrid job role
While there are some advantages to remote working such as flexible working, less time spent commuting and reduced need for office space, it offers up some challenges too for both the employer and employee. These include team motivation and morale, communication, and maintaining project timelines. So, it’s becoming more common that a role is offered on a part home-based, part-office basis. This way you can get the best of both worlds.
Employers – making flexible working a success
There are some fundamentals that need to be in established to make this new way of working a success. These include:
- Clear communication channels
- Ensuring working teams are scheduled in the office collectively
- Adapting working hours for flexibility where possible
- Systems for desk booking and equipment management
- Attendance/reporting processes
- Team building and social activities to engage with staff
Once this new way of working is fully bedded in, the challenge then is to maintain a positive impression with your team, client base, and suppliers when you’re working from home.
Make the best use of technology
If you’re not able to get out and about as much to visit clients or interact with your work colleagues in the office, it’s imperative that you use all the tech available to bridge this gap. Hold meetings virtually by using video wherever possible. This visual reference offers a more interactive experience and opportunities to see first-hand reactions to discussions. Utilise extra features such as:
A branded background – this will enhance your visual appearance, giving a more professional and interesting approach
Record meetings – for reference and referral, to save the need for detailed notes
Hold a collaborative annotation session – invite participants to comment real time on a shared screen. This is a useful tool when discussing designs and plans etc.
Give attendees a waiting room – this is a great opportunity for participants to start their conversations unofficially and can help with interaction and ideas during the meeting
Create reoccurring meetings via one url – timesaving and useful when scheduling such as regular sales meetings
You can also use systems such as Microsoft Teams to share project progress, files, and instant messaging.
Consistency is key
Maintaining consistent working hours is a must for most industries, especially in the contract flooring market where liaison with suppliers and clients will almost always take place during normal working hours. Even if you’re permitted some flexibility by your employer, keep the core hours constant. Block out time to ‘do your job’.
Days can end up being filled with video calls more so than meetings in the office so make sure you’ve got time set aside to concentrate and deliver quality work when at home. Be productive and don’t let yourself become a bottleneck for your colleagues or line manager.
If using a system such as Microsoft Teams, set your status to ‘available’ so your colleagues know you’re ‘at work’ and they can reach you.
Make sure you understand how to access your systems remotely and any remote working processes that are in place. Raise any potential issues or delays as early as possible and manage expectations. Under promise and over deliver. This way you won’t leave people feeling disappointed, in fact they’ll be impressed that you’ve exceeded their expectations.
Credible solutions-led ideas that can save time or resources are a sure way to impress your manager or client and will demonstrate that you possess problem solving and forward-thinking abilities. This may then be reflected in your performance reviews and career progression. Dedicate some time while working from home to think outside the box.
There’s a danger when working remotely you can lose the benefits of collaboration and team working and that’s where virtual team building exercises can help. Consider games, tasks and interactive quizzes that can be orchestrated remotely to get everyone involved and engage staff.
A collaborative approach
The best way to inspire when working remotely is to show you’re disciplined and capable of working independently but that you’re still a collaborative team-player. But it’s also a two-way street where an employer needs to give its staff members every chance of success by offering up the tools and training where needed to keep the business on track.
If you’re looking for assistance when recruiting for your next hybrid position, use the contact details below.