Empty office conference room table
The office conference room may be empty right now, but adopting the correct working practices now will ensure it will be full again sooner rather than later.

Member Article

Here we go again, making the most of your employees working from home

In the midst of the latest Government guidance to ‘work from home, if you can’ pending the second wave of COVID-19, businesses who have only just revelled in the joy of returning to the office now need to look to improve the previous lockdown period of working from home and find new innovative ways to combine flexible home working with the much-needed culture retained from an office environment.

At MSO Workspace, we have been forced to adapt our own working practices while at the same time assisting the tenants we serve with their own situations. Having offices in 10 locations around the UK, a number of our sites have been hit with local lockdowns. This has provided us with the knowledge necessary to get ahead of a second national lockdown… if it arrives.

For the majority of us, as we were thrust into balancing our home with work due to necessity, this time around we need to create a better balance and structure for those juggling stressful home lifestyles and facilitating some respite if possible through flexible safe working solutions from the office.

Mental health in employees was at an all-time low during the lockdown period, with an estimated two out of five employees felt overwhelmed with the extra pressure and stress working from home, and seven out of 10 felt that they were missing social interactions with others at work.

How can you help to boost and maintain the much-needed connection between homeworking and the office:

  • Working from home can create a huge disconnect; both with a ‘typical’ work structure and the team, which leaves employees isolated and opens the door for anxiety. It’s important to touch base with the team and communicate effectively and frequently. Set up regular visual ‘team meet-ups’ with tech solutions such as ZOOM, or communication and collaboration tools such as Slack and Google Teams.

  • Don’t forget about the importance of office culture and face to face contact. The Government guidance is work from home if you can, but, in most locations, small groups (six currently) can still meet in a socially distanced environment. From speaking to our clients, we’ve found periodic ‘meet-ups’ even in team bubbles can hugely increase and drive morale while keeping your staff connected and productive. This could be done externally, or for some the routine of driving to the office and sitting at your desk can be greatly beneficial, even for a short time.

  • Where possible, mix up work so that it involves calls with other staff, which again contributes to driving that usual team culture and allows employees to keep focused and maintain a wide range of skills

If you are one of many businesses that still need to maintain some office structure during lockdown, blending home working with office presence you may still find some of the tips above useful.

Over the past few months, we’ve spoken to lots of businesses looking to de-risk their business through alternative, more flexible office solutions. A change in situation, combined with adopting new policies may be exactly what you need to get through 2020.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by MSO Workspace .

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