Several states are beginning to lift their shelter-at-home orders. Some of your staff may be able to go back to the office in the next few weeks.
But, what if your employees don’t want to go back? With almost two months of working from home under their belts, your workers have gotten used to being at home.
What’s not to like? You can work in your sweatpants. The commute from the bedroom to your workstation is pretty darn quick. When you’re hungry, just grab a snack from the fridge. And you don’t have to argue with Karen in HR over the radio station.
But, the stark reality is that businesses will need to reopen their offices while COVID-19 is still happening. A new report from Forrester calls this the “management phase” of the coronavirus crisis, and it will last well into 2021. We will need to reorganize how we work, travel, eat, congregate, move around, and connect with each other.
The stark reality is that businesses will need to reopen their offices while COVID-19 is still happening.
For businesses, this means that new rules will be created to protect the health and well-being of your employees. Social distancing and hygiene measures will be enacted for employees when they go back to the office. At the same time, it’s important to connect with your workers in and out of the office – and keep them safe.
Here are a few simple ways to help your workers through this transition over the next few months:
Be prepared for staff that want to work at home
The future of business is remote. Even before COVID-19, companies and employees were beginning to embrace remote working. According to FlexJobs, a whopping 74% of respondents in an annual survey believe that flexible working has become the “new normal.”
Some of your employees may not want to go back to the office because they are at higher risk or have family members who are at risk. Or, they may prefer to work at home. Businesses need to accommodate staff and provide technology to allow them to work remotely.
Employ digital strategies so workers can collaborate
One of the easiest ways to bring your remote workers and in-office employees together is with a mobile app. Everyone has a mobile phone. And we all know how to use mobile apps. By setting up a no code, custom-branded mobile app, your organization can connect your workforce and share a “single source of truth” for all of your content and information.
One of the easiest ways to bring your remote workers and in-office employees together is with a mobile app.
Think about this. PDFs are considered a permanent document, but PDFs can be modified. Multiple versions of your PDF documents are floating around. Which version is the right one? To fix this issue, you put all your company’s marketing materials and sales collateral in Dropbox. They’re in the Cloud. They’re safe. THESE documents are the source of truth. But, Robert opens a Google Doc and modifies it. Then, Susan sees it and repurposes it for one of her clients. The next thing you know you have multiple versions, and no one knows which one is the original version.
With a mobile app, you can load in the most current information into the app in real-time. Everyone is accessing and sharing the exact same information. What happens when it becomes out of date? In a matter of seconds, it can be deleted from the app and a new version loaded – replacing the old version instantly.
Provide instant access to relevant content
Your entire staff can use your custom-branded mobile app and access the content they need in a matter of seconds, right at their fingertips. Employees can locate the timely information they need on their smartphone – whether they’re working from home, in the office, or out on a sales call.
Keep everyone connected with push notifications
For the last few decades, email has been the most widely-used business communication tool. But, email is not as effective as it once was. Our inboxes are overflowing. Email sucks up your time. Most business professionals have more than 200 emails in their inbox at any given time. They only respond to about 25% of these emails.
With a mobile app, it’s so easy to communicate by sending instant, non-intrusive notifications to app users. Push notifications can be sent globally to everyone in your app or to specific channels or groups that you set up. Share company-wide announcements. Let your sales team know a new product or service is available. Provide tips and updates to your employees who are working from home. Group chats can be set up to communicate among teams or departments.
Use microlearning and virtual training
A mobile app makes it easy to teach and train your staff. Microlearning is a more effective way to learn and retain information versus sitting through all-day classroom training. And, with social distancing, mobile apps are perfect for onboarding new hires, sharing virtual content, and providing ongoing training for existing employees.
With microlearning, employees typically learn faster, retain more information, and remember it for longer periods of time. On top of that, your staff can learn at their own pace and have a sense of control of what’s being learned and how they learn it.
Communicate more frequently
With the majority of employees working from home right now, the roles have been reversed. Now, it’s going to be surreal to go back to the office and start working again. And, systems will be put in place to continue with social distancing and keeping staff safe. Businesses will need social tools, like a mobile app, to help them connect those employees who are coming back to the office with those who are working remotely.
This pandemic has been stressful on everyone. Companies are shouldering the burden of running a business as best they can in these trying times. At the same time, they are looking out for the health and well-being of their workers who are coming back to the office.
Talk to your employees. Ask them what they need from you to be successful, and learn how you can help them make this transition safer and easier. Business leaders need to show empathy and compassion for their employees. That’s the bottom line.
Book a CatalystXL Demo here.