The way we work has never been so radically changed as it is right now – and at NFS we’ve been compiling tips from across the FM sector that can help organisations in the new locked down agile working world.
We know operational concerns and staff welfare are top of everyone’s mind – but in monitoring the industry, we’ve found these positive thoughts from a wide range of businesses:
Be secure and compliant: Circulate clear rules to protect the security of your network such as banning the use of unencrypted memory sticks. Remember GDPR still applies to data, even though your workforce is dispersed.
Communicate: Homeworkers can feel lonely and unsupported. Use video conferencing, email and social media to communicate with them every day.
Monitor productivity: Set homeworkers clear and realistic deadlines for projects, and monitoring the outcomes. Always give feedback – it’s more important now than ever.
Motivation and morale: Provide opportunities for virtual team activities – even lighthearted ones such as a daily quiz – with small prizes; share more serious achievements in a highly visible way. Set up What’s App groups, use Facebook pages and other collaborative media so people can socialise.
Training: Don’t let it slide – it’s an important part of keeping staff engaged. Provide access to online courses, or create virtual workshops they can join.
Sharing space: Homeworkers co-existing with partners and children should work out ground rules for when someone needs private space for concentration or video conferencing – and a keep out sign for the door.
Tech hell: Make sure technical support is available for people working at home – or be ready to replace their devices if necessary. Make sure everyone has a suitable chair and desk/table to avoid physical aches and pains.
Think wellbeing: Your staff need exercise to stay mentally alert and physically healthy. Encourage them to take the Government-approved walk or cycle ride each day.
Be understanding: People working from home can find it difficult, at least initially – and many are having to combine it with childcare. Provide pastoral support and as much leeway as feasible.
Take notice: Agile working is already a huge trend worldwide, and this enforced period will tell you a lot about its benefits and how it can work – for instance, it highlights how collaborative technologies can replace expensive and stressful travel. This experience could inform future decisions about the way you utilise your workspace and real estate once the crisis is over.