TANGO Partners Perspective – January 2021
Tips for Building Remote-Work Polices That Last!
Patrick Gill, CPA Director East Coast Operations, Financial One Accounting, Inc.
If you take yourself back to early March 2020, you probably could not imagine a world where you were unable to go into the office. Fast forward to today and you now struggle to imagine one where you are back to working there 40 hours a week.
Remote work is here to stay, in a big way, even when it is no longer a public health necessity. As such, it has become necessary that business leaders and firm owners begin to create strategies for a work-from-anywhere reality that will last.
Early on in the pandemic, most companies rushed to figure out how to work from home. Policies were built on the fly and companies made it work in whatever way possible. As time has passed, businesses have had the opportunity to develop comprehensive policies, incorporating the knowledge and experience the past six to nine months have provided. Now that businesses have experienced the remote environment, it is time to develop and strengthen policies and these three items should be considered:
Start with your people/employees
To build a system that best fits your business, start by considering what your employees need to be successful. Do team members work in collaboration? Do they have long commutes? Do they enjoy working from home or would they like the option of going to the office? The answers to those questions will provide the foundational insights that will assist in developing a sound plan of action.
You will find though that your company may not adhere to a one-size-fits-all approach. Some employees may thrive working remotely while others may struggle without their personal interaction or a structured workday. It is important to listen to your employees and digest all the feedback in developing a successful strategy that will work for your business.
Solidify your technology
In order to establish a work-from-anywhere environment, you need to invest in modern-day technology. Chances are if you were not already using cloud-based platforms for videoconferencing or chat communication, you are now. If you implemented technology changes six to nine months ago, take the time now to review those changes, update and finalize technology policies and determine what options are best for your business going forward. This may involve evaluating your client base in order to choose a universal platform that may be compatible for communicating with the majority of consumers you serve.
Do not compromise on real estate
Since the emergence of Covid-19, commercial real estate in most of the country has turned into a seller’s market. This change of events presents business owners a chance to envision a new type of workspace, one that will better facilitate their new/updated business model.
As more space becomes available and the price per square foot drops, you can consider workshare arrangements, nontraditional spaces, and other options that can be catered to your business. Now that work can be done totally remotely, you do not have to panic if the ideal lease does not happen right away. Now is the perfect time to design the space that works for your business rather than tailoring your operations to suit a physical space.
By reviewing these three areas and developing new strategies, you will be able to align your employees, technology, and office space in a way that will provide the best experience for both employees and consumers alike. Develop the ability to create these strategies and take the reins now to craft a plan that will propel you for years to come.