This service will help you move from an office-based to a remote-based work environment in ten days. We will create an online work community whose benefits will have long-lasting positive effects on the productivity and morale of your workforce.
Propelled into a remote work environment, managers and employees will instinctively try to replicate their traditional work environment. But they soon realize the differences: no face-to-face meetings, no informal talk at the coffee machine, impossibility to check what every employee does every single minute.
If these issues are not taken care of immediately, bigger issues will arise quickly: loss of trust between management and employees, uncontrolled suspicions and rumors appearing from seemingly nowhere, a general feeling of frustration with the difficulty to work efficiently as a remote team, loss of motivation and vision.
Using a traditional office work model in a remote work environment is certain to deliver suboptimal results.
At Ideas on Stage, our core job is to create connections. We believe that efficient, authentic connections are at the heart of a successful remote work environment. These connections are what differentiates employees working remotely from a true online work community. And we practice what we preach. We have worked as a remote team since our creation ten years ago, both internally and externally with our clients. Based on those years of experience, we have devised a method to help our clients transition from office work to remote work in a few days.
Online Work Community
We will help you build a perennial online work community that will create a sense of belonging and encourage best practices at all levels of your organization, no matter where people work from.
Key success factors of office to remote work
There are five elements that are critical to the transition from office to remote work:
- Objectives: having a clear objective, a clear purpose is key to keep employees on the right track when no physical office can create a sense of cohesion. A clear vision will give meaning to their work plus will motivate them to work towards achieving that vision.
- Tools: using the right remote tools, fast and easy, can eliminate the friction of remote work.
- Trust: for some organizations, this is the most difficult, yet most important success factor: move from a culture of distrust to a culture of trust. Management and employees have to move to a relationship of empowerment to maximize the results and even surpass the productivity of office work.
- Transparency: ensure that people know what is happening within the company, understand their role in any changes or projects and feel connected.
- Overcommunication: remote communication is not as natural as direct communication, so talking and exchanging frequently is key to building trust and a healthy, efficient work environment.
Without these key success factors secured, a remote work environment will only create a feeling of insecurity and frustration, resulting in poor productivity from employees.
From office to remote in ten days
Ideas on Stage can help you achieve a near-instantaneous transition from office to remote work because we know what works and doesn’t first-hand in our company as well as through our clients. Here’s how to achieve a smoothly operating remote work environment:
- Check that you have the necessary tools.
- Build a clear vision that you will continuously communicate to your employees throughout the entire remote work period.
- Create a trust-based work environment between employees and management by exemplifying and coaching them on how to maintain a productive remote relationship.
- Ensure that people communicate kindly, clearly and regularly. Keep focus on resolving project challenges, not interpersonal issues.
- Organize regular online events to continue nourishing a connected corporate culture; communicate the vision, recognise and reassure employees to foster a feeling of belonging.
- When possible, plan in-person gatherings or events to look forward to.
How do we do it?
Our approach is based on three phases: preparation, takeoff and cruise mode. Provided that your team is willing to move fast, that you have the minimum set of tools to get up to speed and that you are ready to face a few intense days, we can help you transition very quickly.
Preparation: initial assessment, plan and objectives
We start the preparation phase with an initial assessment of your remote work capabilities. We evaluate how comfortable you and your team are with the concept of remote work. Then, we check if your tools will allow you to work properly without creating additional friction.
From the initial assessment, we build a comprehensive plan tailored to your company’s strengths and areas of improvement. Our initial objective is not to provide a full replacement for your traditional work environment, but to give you the minimum capabilities to work efficiently as a remote team.
We help you build a clear set of objectives for your team. Alongside clear objectives, a clear purpose is key to keep employees on the right track when no physical office can create a sense of cohesion. A clear project objective will give meaning to their work, plus realistic daily tasks, and will motivate them to work towards achieving said objectives. Just like setting off on a journey, you need to have a map to arrive where you intended. The same goes for setting your work project destination, and doubly so, when working remotely.
Following our initial assessment, we will lead a 90 min. objective setting session using our exclusive methodologies. We will identify clearly defined and measurable near-term actionable goals by first brainstorming the universe of possible desirable outcomes and then sorting them using our Traffic Light methodology to uncover the most crucial actions to achieve and rank in order of mission importance the remainders.
This will result in a clear timeline, a project map, which will help employees stay on course during their solo journey, and start to build trust in the remote work environment.
Based on our plan and objectives, we enter the takeoff phase: lift off the ground and get to the cruise altitude efficiently and safely.
To ensure that objectives are clear and to build the sense of belonging to the online community, we will start with an online kick-off event, not minimizing the challenges of remote work, but instead giving a very clear vision of how everyone can adapt and that each employee will receive support during this phase.
During the takeoff phase, managers will have daily coaching to address the challenges they may face adapting to remote work. As good remote management is vital to foster a good remote work environment, namely retain key talent, we strongly encourage a personalized coaching approach instead of a one-size-fits-all quick-fix. Based on the number of managers and how large your company is, we could create small coaching groups based on leadership styles to maximise efficiency and initiate internal support connections.
We will organize weekly events to strengthen the culture of your online work community. A strong culture will encourage the right mindset across all workers in your company, and will increase engagement and motivation. This could include coaching employees to give mini TED-styled presentations to update the group in an engaging way. Or facilitate group check-ins using heart-based communication techniques developed in California called Council.
Employees will be able to attend a series of online webinars:
- How to conduct virtual meetings
- How to adapt working habits to work remote efficiently and enjoyably
- How to use good communication etiquette to encourage collaboration and avoid unnecessary conflicts or holdups
- How to create a trust-based online work culture
Trust is at the heart of an online work community. It is what fosters a positive and productive work environment.
Trust is at the heart of an online work community. But how do you build it? By doing what you say you will do. Or at least cleaning things up well if and when you miss the mark. Seems simple, and it is, under specific conditions: when all parties share an understanding of the agreement plus a common idea of what success looks like. Achieving that can be harder than we realise. Communication is king when building trust. SMART goals help achieve clarity and create conditions for success.
But, sometimes people don’t do what they say they will do. What happens then? We need the right communication skills and practices to effectively move forward from a misunderstanding and ideally let it be a strengthening of relationships and learning for future success. Building trust is about following through, but it’s also about how we deal with things when they go awry and targets don’t get hit. Lastly, it’s not just what we communicate to our team or colleagues but how and when.
Here are a few examples of activities that we use to build a trust-based online work community:
- Initiation to an online heart-based communication practice (Council)
- Nonviolent communication techniques, one of the key cultural changes that Satya Nadella introduced under his leadership at Microsoft
- Implementing regular online meetings with a clear and empowering agenda
- Conflict or stressful dynamic resolution skills
- Recognition: make it regular and specific
Finally, if you are missing critical tools to work remotely, we will coordinate with you to find temporary or perennial solutions so that your team is not hindered. We are vendor agnostic.
The takeoff phase will help you get up to speed quickly, ensuring minimum disruption of your day-to-day work. However, an efficient remote work culture is something that is built over the course of several months. We will continue to help you address the remaining sticking points and set up a sustainable remote work community that will deliver a better, more flexible workplace to all your employees, boost their productivity, deliver tangible long-term benefits for your company and be prepared for the inevitable shift towards greater global workplace flexibility.
So why wait? Contact us and let’s start building your remote work community today.