By Cody Lents, Partner and Change Manager at COVI, Inc.
Empower employees with choice
As vaccinations trend up and restrictions trend down, a significant number of workers are set to return to the office in coming months. Your extroverted employees are undoubtedly excited. However, their introverted counterparts may not share the same enthusiasm. So, how can you maximize morale and culture to enable the best performance out of both groups?: A thoughtfully-designed hybrid Work-from-Home (WFH) model that prioritizes both the needs of your organization’s employees and processes.
Lay the groundwork for success
The first critical step in transitioning into a hybrid WFH model is developing and communicating processes that level the playing field for both in-house and remote workers. Set clear expectations about your organization’s internal communications, cyber insurance, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, etc., to ensure that remote workers don’t feel left behind compared to their in-person colleagues.
While remote work can be an opportunity to cut “traditional” office costs, leverage it as an opportunity to invest in your workforce. Consider using what your organization saves on overhead to provide your employees with a stipend to make working remotely more comfortable. This allows employees to outfit themselves at home with equipment like an ergonomic chair, an extra monitor, noise-canceling headphones, etc.
At the office, consider re-developing your organization’s layout to better accommodate a hybrid approach: dedicated “open-space” plans for those in and out of the office, private offices for focused work, and spaces specifically designed to encourage collaboration/socialization both face-to-face and virtually.
Invest in your infrastructure
The next critical step in transitioning your organization to a hybrid approach is ensuring your infrastructure is capable of handling the needs of employees working in different spaces. Now may be the time to upgrade your organization’s software to the enterprise level so that you can take advantage of security, communication and collaboration features.
Migrating your organization’s servers to the cloud is another way to streamline efficiency for your remote workforce. This makes it easier for your employees to collaborate and share files via a centralized location in which they can upload/save their work to.
Don’t compromise on security
With employees using a mixture of personal and company devices, it’s imperative that your organization communicates a clear security policy to ensure the safety of your data. The following three steps are a great start to a more secure digital infrastructure:
- Determining what endpoint protection your remote workers need will aid in virus prevention. Windows Defender is a great antivirus software included in Windows 10, however, it does not meet the compliancy and security minimums of today’s security landscape.
- Implementing two-factor authentication [2FA] is a secure way to ensure that only admins and users are allowed into accounts that would otherwise be vulnerable to cyber attacks.
- Utilizing a virtual environment that allows devices to connect to a secure server or service, as opposed to a user’s internet connection, allows your organization to keep information encrypted, private, and safe.
Now is the perfect time for a comprehensive technology assessment to prepare for the new-normal in our evolved workspaces. If you want to discuss what an assessment entails or if you need assistance implementing a hybrid-work approach for your organization, reach out to COVI at firstname.lastname@example.org for help. COVI is an Information Technology (IT) agency specializing in productivity, security, support and strategy services, located in Indianapolis, Indiana.