COVID-19 has forever altered the way we work. Now is the moment for managers to imagine what the office will look like when employees return to office; or if they don’t.
The pandemic has caused severe disruption around the world in the last year. The timing for when the so-called next normal will arrive is clearer now that a vaccine has been developed and distributed successfully. Leaders should start thinking about what the workplace will look like once it arrives.
It's impossible to return to the pre pandemic workplace. Organizations and people have had no choice but to experiment with new methods of operation. Many companies have reported successfully completing years of digital transformation plans in just a few months. Instead of preparing a return to ways of working that were becoming antiquated and outmoded even before the pandemic, managers should start asking themselves how they might build on such advances to further revolutionize their organizations.
Over the next several months, leadership will benefit from learning how to utilize the recent breakthroughs and advancements, as well as building a strategy for ongoing workplace reinvention that is more resistant to all sorts of disruption. Many businesses are only beginning to consider the advantages of more advanced asynchronous collaboration technologies, and they are only scratching the surface of the numerous possibilities to improve workplace performance by leveraging the data provided by digital collaboration. Increased digitalization and analytics can also aid in the improvement of knowledge flows within organizations.
In lieu of in-person meetings and interviews, an increasing number of businesses are adopting a new strategy to hiring: they’re going completely digital. Your new hire will still need to complete out paperwork, obtain essential equipment, and meet the team, just like in person on-boarding. You’ll need all of the new hire’s information, including their email address, phone number, and home address, in order to do so. Virtual document signing is nothing new for firms that engage with consumers, employees, or organizations outside of their headquarters.
For years, businesses have used software like DocuSign to transfer paperwork. With your new hire, you may do the same. Upload all of your new hire documentation to a signing software and send everything they need to sign before their start date to their email address.
Many students and recent graduates are unfamiliar with remote work, so make sure to check in with them throughout the on-boarding process to ensure everything goes smoothly. Send an email to the new hire’s personal email a few days before their start date with information on how to log on to their laptop and company email. If necessary, you can also offer instructions on how to access your secured network or VPN.
We also recommend setting up a video check-in or sending a separate email with details on their first day. Who will they encounter? What duties are they supposed to perform before the first day? When are they supposed to log on each day? This is an excellent method to ensure that you and your coworkers are on the same page and to put their minds at ease about the new style of working.
Remote employees need collaborating tools to be successful. Microsoft Teams can be used to communicate, share files and project plans, and schedule meetings, among other things. Make sure you get a sense of how familiar the newest member of your team is with the collaborative tools you use when you check in with them. Before their first day, provide documentation on how to sign in, get started, and really utilize the tools. This will allow them to practice with the tool ahead of time, so they’ll be ready to go on day one!
Before the start date, set up technologies. Offer employees - and leadership - a session with IT to show each new employee how the video conferencing platform, communication channels, and other company tools work will help reduce first-day nervousness. Doing so ahead of time reduces technical concerns and helps new employees to be completely present and at ease on the first day. Some companies provide new employees with a new laptop and/or phone prior to their start date, fully configured in the cloud with the appropriate company settings and security standards. We use Microsoft 365 for a seamless, and recognizable on-boarding process. This fosters a sense of belonging to the company and alleviates new employee fear.
As a result of the pandemic, the workplace, workforce, and jobs of the future will be profoundly transformed. The gradual recovery from this interruption offers an unprecedented opportunity to investigate and experiment. Leaders must constantly reinvent the future of work, and now is the moment to start figuring out how to make that future a reality.
For more information on getting your team set-up through the cloud, contact RCS Professional Services to speak with an IT professional or visit our website www.rcsprofessional.com. To learn how creating an efficient, safe, and productive post-pandemic workspace can improve your business environment, watch the recording of our most recent webinar.