The Trials and Tribulations of Switching to a WFH Operation (Part 2)
Hello everyone, we are back again to continue our Work from Home Series (WFH) following our previous article highlighting tips and ideas for developing and maintaining your company culture. If you haven’t had a chance, give it a quick read, but for now, let’s continue onwards with today’s topic: the trials and tribulations of switching to a WFH operation. We will be providing solutions to some of the most problematic issues that companies like yours might be facing, voiced by our leadership team at Burst.
Get inspired, even at home.
Communication has always been an essential factor when working in an office, and even more so working remotely. A problem you might have come across working from home is expressing sudden ideas and inspirations — immediate sparks of creativity can vanish as quickly as they come.
For Burst’s Co-founder Brad Down, the inability to share creative ideas and solutions easily is an issue for any business looking to innovate.
In a traditional office environment, this problem is solved with open floor plans to encourage communication while working remotely - everyone is essentially inside their own office. Even with tools such as Slack and Zoom to keep communication clear, there will always be a gap when sharing ideas remotely. So, how do we solve this issue?
Start using online idea boards. These virtual idea boards encourage teams to post thoughts freely in real-time. Teams can then maintain and share a steady flow of ideas without missing a beat. While posting and reviewing ideas won’t be the same as sharing inspirations face-to-face as you would in an office, it does help preserve new ideas and encourages the sharing and discussion of others.
If you are curious about integrating an idea board into your business, consider looking into these software products (you might even be using one already). Keep those ideas flowing.
Keep an eye on team (over)engagement.
Sustaining a high level of engagement can be difficult in a WFH situation. While some people can adjust quickly to any environment, others may struggle. Developing and nurturing a positive working connection within your team is fundamental to the survival of any business, and even more so in a WFH environment.
For Burst’s CTO Mike Bissett, it’s losing time and the flexibility of working in the office that genuinely impacts his team.
Keep your team in the loop with video calls and encourage normal conversation in video chats. Messaging is also a reliable way to stay in-the-know with your fellow workers. Don’t let the space between you and your team grow; instead, aspire to keep those connections active and continue to inspire confidence in your crew. Schedule weekly or even daily meet-ups with your team on a more consistent basis. It’s an easy way to stay updated with your team and business.
Patience and adaptation is key.
For the company leaders out there, patience and adaptation is the greatest weapon you can have to fight against inconsistencies while working remotely.
For Leana Yang, Burst’s Marketing Director, WFH offers a plethora of unique challenges for company leaders like herself.
The truth about WFH for extended periods is that typical facets of a business may never adapt fully to a remote environment. As we mentioned above, every person is different and will react to working remotely in a variety of ways. Leadership, especially the flexible kind, is needed now more than ever. If there were ever a time to change the way you manage your team, this is an opportune time to do. As Leana mentioned, there is no perfect strategy for this, so keep an open mind and experiment with new ways to adjust your business.
Stay connected, and avoid department isolation.
For larger businesses that support multiple departments, it’s not uncommon to find a situation that disrupts one or more branches of the company simultaneously.
For Operations Director, Greg Campbell, the primary concern during this quarantine is how departments can slowly begin to isolate themselves from one other.
The last thing we want is to have interaction between other departments viewed as an afterthought, so what’s the solution? Encourage more company level interaction. If you read our previous WFH article, developing ways to have departments interact with one another is critical in unifying your business. At Burst, we envelop our company culture into everything we do: cross-department competitions, celebrating company milestones, celebrating birthdays, and so much more. Small interactions like these can go a long way in rekindling communication and allows us to foster dialogue between departments. Consider developing a company-wide event or celebration for your business. Nothing breaks down the walls of department isolation more than invoking a sense of company-wide camaraderie — whatever that may be.
The WFH culture offers many unique challenges, with solutions that sometimes aren’t obvious. It’s important to understand that your business needs to evolve now more than ever. We like to consider these problems (and maybe other problems you may be experiencing) as growing pains for any company going through a sudden WFH pivot. While it may be a problem now, a solution is always possible with the right kind of thinking and application. Consider the trials and difficulties we are facing above and take action to achieve similar solutions. Perfection isn’t something attainable in this kind of global pandemic, but it’s crucial to keep an open mind and learn to evolve with this ever-changing situation. Trust us, by the end of it all, you, your team, and your business as a whole will be better off.