The Traditional work environment vs Work from Home Environment?
The work environment continues to evolve, change, and adapt according to the times and the workforce landscape. Traditionally, employee workplaces have consisted of company-designated office spaces structured by a specific function or department. The traditional workspace design was intended to create consistent performance, maintain professionalism, and increase employee collaboration to achieve company goals. In a traditional setting, employees are easily able to build relationships and establish connections within their teams when working together in one location or building. The traditional office space has helped employees to remain engaged, productive, and thriving in the work environment.
The introduction of the virtual or work from home option has disrupted the 21stcentury workplace. According to a Gallup:
“43% of U.S. employees work remotely some or all of the time...show remote workers are more productive and profitable than in-house employees.”The virtual work or work from home environment is a new frontier shaping the workplace. Employees are faced with increasing challenges to adjust and remain productive in a geographically dispersed workforce.
There are three ways to remain productive when transitioning to a work from home environment:
- Create a balanced office structure
- Evaluate and monitor performance
- Maintain engagement and communication with your team
How do you create a balanced office structure?
Creating a balanced office structure is important to staying productive in a work from home setting. The work from home option often lacks organization and order. The benefit of working from home is the ability to create your own structure and workspace. It is important to create an office environment that you can easily remain motivated to perform well. Plan by arranging your office space to help you feel relaxed while working from home. Furnish your office with comfortable furniture, provide essential ergonomic office equipment and construct a pleasant setting to work in for 8 hours a day. In your virtual space, you may need your furniture arranged to have a view of a natural landscape, picturesque scene instead of a blank or gloomy wall. Delineate the workspace from your home environment to eliminate frequent interruptions and establish a boundary between business obligations and your personal life. Come prepared to start each day with a positive mindset to minimize distractions to your workflow. Your positivity will influence innovation and creativity. Incorporate an aspect of accountability into your office structure by implementing a daily schedule. The daily schedule will help with establishing a routine. Keeping a routine will help with creating a balanced structure and sustain the performance that you had prior to working from home.
How do you evaluate and monitor performance to stay productive?
Another way to remain productive is to continuously evaluate and monitor your performance. Remain focused on your individual and team goals by dedicating sufficient time to important tasks and staying abreast of deadlines. Schedule meetings with your manager to clarify performance expectations, update your goal status and check completed milestones. Your results are the best leading measurement of your performance.
How do you maintain engagement and communication with the team to stay productive?
Working from home often creates a feeling of isolation for employees. Employees lose the ability to have frequent interaction and engagement in comparison to staff in a traditional office environment. The Buffer State of the Remote Worker Report said that:
"20% of remote workers have stated a feeling of loneliness when working from home.”As a work from home employee, you must make the effort to build relationships virtually with your team through frequent communication and collaboration. Make use of your company's internal communication channels like Slack and Video Conferencing to remain connected to your team. Plan ad-hoc virtual breaks or team-building exercises to boost employee morale and connectivity to the team. You’re not alone because you simply work from home. So, resist the urge to work in a silo. Always ask for help when needed and offer to support your team when you can. Using a team-based approach is best to maintain engagement with your team members and manager and create an inclusive culture.
Working from home requires an effort to stay productive. Engaged teams are more productive & have better communication with the Assembly. Assembly is a peer to peer employee recognition platform where co-workers can easily recognize each other with meaningful messages and rewards and companies can manage culture spend with a positive and justifiable ROI. Assembly has a 95% employee engagement, it has unique rewards and can be easily integrated with Slack. Grow and sustain your culture with Assembly.
About the Author: Angelique Hamilton, MBA, Angelique Hamilton is an HR Consultant and Leadership Development Coach with prior leadership roles for Fortune 500, non-profit and service organizations. Angelique is the Founder of the HR Chique Group specializing in supporting start-ups, small businesses, and individuals to discover their “strengths” and fortify their brands to develop sustainable platforms and lifestyles.