As I’m writing this, more than a foot of snow is piling up outside my window and families throughout the northeast are mourning the demise of the “snow day.” The weather forecast calls for the end of this storm tonight, but the business forecast calls for the end of the traditional office now. Remote work IS here to stay. Here’s how we know, and how you can embrace the new paradigm.
“This Space Available” because remote work is here to stay.
At the start of the pandemic, we all learned how to “embrace the awkward” and be OK with the weirdness of all this video conferencing. The culture jumped in with both feet—from commercials in multiple frames to room ratings.
It didn’t take long before companies, seeing the grave nature of the pandemic, made longer-term commitments to supporting their employees through remote working
Finance departments quickly noticed something: People were being productive at home, while corporations were paying good millions for empty space. C-suite responses have been definitive:
- In early summer, REI put its brand-new, 8-acre corporate campus up for sale—having never moved in a single associate.
- In October, LogMeIn announced a reduction of 1/3 of its global office space, declaring that only 5% of its Boston HQ team would work on-site 5 days a week (as of now, their Boston offices are closed until April 1, 2021). If anyone’s going to make that kind of move, why not the GoToMeeting people?
- And just this week, global staffing powerhouse Aquent announced they are transitioning to “100% virtual” by running out leases and subletting space.
This quote from Aquent CEO sums up the dominant C-suite POV: “There’s really no downside [to going all-remote]. We haven’t stepped foot in this real estate for the last eight months, and we’ve noticed that the sky hasn’t fallen down.”
The corner office reads the room re remote work.
For its Annual CEO Benchmarking Report 2021, The Predictive Index surveyed 160 CEOs on a range of topics relevant to the changing landscape of the past year. Three stats leap out:
- 97% of CEOs are allowing or plan to allow some extent of remote work for all or most employees.
- 76% are allowing or plan to allow full-time remote work for all or most employees.
- Only 3% said “not at all.”
CEOs are making the commitment. Remote work IS here to stay.
So what’s YOUR plan to make remote work really work for your business?
Getting back (briefly) to our cultural moment: Remote working is much more than video conference after video conference. Remote work at its very best—with high employee engagement and productivity—is marked by:
Targeted top-down communication that connects employees to the places, policies, and people they need to perform their work with efficiency and excellence. It keeps them engaged with the business, wherever they’re working.
High-performance everyday collaboration that advances business goals—getting s**t done well and done together (including those video conferences).
Remote work at its very best happens in an optimized Digital Workplace.
The new Digital Workplace model optimizes communication, maximizes collaboration.
My colleague (and recognized Digital Workplace thought leader) Erick Straghalis has proposed a New Digital Workplace Model that leverages Microsoft Teams (currently clocking in at more than 115 million daily active users) to an unprecedented extent—because “Teams is where workers are spending their time.”
In Erick’s conception, Teams—with its powerful video, chat, calendar, and file sharing capabilities (and that’s just for starters)—enables conversations and collaboration that employees engage in throughout the day to get their work done.
Meanwhile your HR and comms teams apply your intranet to the tasks to aligning and connecting employees and their work to the vision, mission, and values of your organization.
The New Digital Workplace Model: How Microsoft Teams is Revolutionizing the Corporate Intranet
The Digital Workplace and remote work get better with a single pane of glass.
A cardinal rule of engagement in communication is “meet your audience where they are.” So let’s get back to the idea that Teams is where your employees already are and apply it to remote employee engagement.
You need your employees to see and consume the information on your intranet. You get them there with a solution like Powell Software’s intranet, which seamlessly brings the intranet into the Teams experience where your employees are getting work done together.
The result is a single pane of glass for remote and in-office workers. It’s the place where they can all connect to each other; have conversations; and access the news, information, tools, and content they need to be productive. Every day. Wherever they are. On any device.
If your organization runs Microsoft O365, you already have the building blocks in place for your own New Digital Workplace. Where do you go from there?
Download our guide, Re-Defining the Digital Workplace, to explore a proven process for deploying a Digital Workplace that’s purpose-built for the remote work paradigm we’re all moving into.
(Questions? Contact our Digital Workplace team here or click the orange chat button at the bottom right.)