Does Work from Home, Work?
What will it take for an employer to feel comfortable with a remote or work from home arrangement in the long term (post Covid–19 world)?
At FORTIS, we have been having conversations about this topic for weeks. We, like many companies were launched to a work from home setting (for all team members) overnight. A bit unsettling at first, but we quickly found that we were able to successfully navigate this lightning fast change due to the strong work systems that we already had in place. To ensure success in this new world of work, we also found that we needed to pivot quickly to put other work protocols in place.
Does work from home (WFH) work?
Imagine this: A work from home scenario that will achieve the same productivity from your colleague(s), as though they drove to the office every day, interacted with the team, and successfully executed on the expectations of their role. Is this possible? We would contend yes, with a few caveats.
First, if your employees came to the workplace each day and were successfully working together and achieving goals before Covid–19, you are off to a great start. If you had a few people who were successfully working with a flex–remote schedule that is a great benchmark and bonus to this transition.
To make any work arrangement successful, there are a few success pillars that need to be in place:
- Communication. It all starts with communication. Open lines of communication, listening, consistent updates, honesty with what is going on. Use of communication tools like Slack, Teams, and Zoom. These are tools that can go anywhere and provide on demand communication for teammates and leaders.
- Technology. Hardware and software that will help the company and colleagues be successful, i.e., cloud–based tools and hardware to run them.
- Performance Tracking. Good performance and tracking metrics [OKR’s], and a way to recognize or navigate +/– variance in that performance, on demand or during a weekly meeting.
- Great Leadership. This involves listening on the part of leadership, checking in with direct reports and their reports, stewardship of the organization and trust from the top that supports, remote, hybrid, and in office work. Setting a vision, being as consistent as possible with communication and at the same time the leader showing how they can successfully pivot with unexpected change.
- Learning and Growing. An expectation by the organization and its colleagues that we are always learning, refining, re–tooling, communicating, and holding ourselves accountable to our work and the growth opportunities presented to us every day.
- Responsibility on the part of the colleague(s) for how they show up no matter their work arrangement. This responsibility makes it easy for all to see how they are contributing or participating in the organization to meet the expectations of their role and to their team.
- Transparency and open lines of communication. This is a key to success in any company no matter how they are structured. With flex work arrangements, this is as important if not more important to keeping the wheels of success moving.
- Commitment. Everyone keeps their eye on the prize of achieving success for themselves and the organization.
- Inclusivity and Engagement. Do your employees know what is expected of them? The Gallup Q12 provides a great start to check in with your organization. Regardless of that, leaders and team members are responsible for keeping inclusion and engagement at the forefront of the day to day. A structure for follow up and staying in touch is vital to keeping the heartbeat of the organization at its best cadence for success.
- Celebrate successes often and have fun.
We are firm believers that a culture of success, achievement and the belief that everyone can thrive is essential for any work structure. No matter the work arrangement, people choose how they want to show up each day. They get to choose: a mindset that allows them to thrive, how they want to contribute to make things happen, and the benefits they seek from the career path they chose.
It is up to everyone to create success in their work system. Get in the boat, row together, and recognize that success for all is a two–way street that can be achieved in any work arrangement.
As a company, FORTIS Resource Partners, supports WFH strategies because we have to (as of this writing, and under Safer at Home requirements), and because we want to. We will continue to explore how we and our clients can be successful in this arrangement, or a flex work arrangement going forward.
By doing so, we hope to support our clients and candidates with what we learn and can bring to the table with regard to remote work options for them. We will continue to write about this in the weeks and months come.
Here’s what we know now. We are open for business no matter the work arrangement. We will continue to explore the best way to deliver our services to our clients and the professionals we serve. That we will continue to refine how we do our work, and work together as a company, showing up every day to get great work done!
For more ideas for work from home check out:
More about FORTIS Resource Partners. We are a specialized staffing firm placing accounting, finance, human resource and other professionals in Orange County, San Diego County, Los Angeles and nearby metro areas.