How your team can balance working from home and the office

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Lauren Wallace-Thompson
09 Jun 2021 @ 09:29 am
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If the COVID-19 crisis showed us anything, it’s
that working from home can be just as productive as working from the office.
The proof that remote working can be successful and profitable has been
welcomed by many, including disabled workers and people with caring
responsibilities. However, there are still definitely some things we miss about
face-to-face working.

Now that restrictions are set to ease, your mind
may be on a return to the office. However, for most businesses and workers,
it’s unlikely to be an all-or-nothing approach. Over 85% of the UK’s biggest
companies said that they intended to keep
remote working as an option once the pandemic is over
, moving to a hybrid model where people work from home a couple of days
a week and are in the office the rest of the time.

It makes sense for employers – saving on-premises
costs and utility bills. It also makes sense for many workers – saving on
commuting time and costs and allowing people more flexibility. But there are
some types of work, especially collaborative projects, and things like training
seminars, that are just nicer and more effective when you can meet up in the
same physical space. In this article, we take a look at some ways that
recruitment teams can balance home working and office life to ensure they get
the best of both worlds – and are more productive than ever.

Have a weekly meeting with the team in the office

If your team has only really seen each other on
Zoom calls for a year, it’s going to be quite exciting to get everyone together
in the same room again. A reinstating of your weekly or fortnightly team
meeting is a great way to install a focal point back into the working week,
encouraging everyone to come back to the office for a defined purpose. It will
help you regain a sense of what your colleagues have been working on, thrash
out any niggling issues and look at what’s coming up on the horizon for your
firm. 1-2-1 meetings with anyone you line manage should be a priority for
face-to-face as well, as it gives you a chance to properly check in with your
staff. An in-person meeting is a much easier way to discuss their wellbeing,
workload and to help them to set their priorities for the next few months than
trying to do the same over a pixelated video call.

If possible, have your team in the office on the same days

If social distancing restrictions stay in place,
it may depend on the size of your premises and whether you can accommodate the
full team at once. However, if you’re planning a mix of home and office
working, it’s a good idea to try to coordinate days with your team so that
you’re all in the office together (otherwise you may as well be working
separately at home!). This will also help people get back into a routine and
make it easier to schedule things like client meetings and training sessions.

Aim to do collaborative work when in the office

Sorry, I think your connection’s dropping out.
The sound isn’t working on your share screen. You’re on mute! We’ve all
encountered these problems on Zoom calls, and we have the viral videos to prove
it. While it has its uses, Zoom isn’t ideal for intense teamwork. Anything that
requires collaborative working is best done in person where possible, so try to
make attendance at these types of meetings a priority. This goes for both
internally, and when you’re working with clients, contractors and other partner
organisations too. Having everyone in the same room allows more voices to be
heard, and you can call upon those classic tools of collaboration – flipchart
paper and post-it notes!

Use time at home for peaceful working

While it’s still a novelty, it’s likely that
office-working will be filled with even more distractions than usual: a whole
18 months’ worth of tea and coffee runs to catch up on, missed office gossip,
and the entire output of Netflix to discuss. It’s going to be hard to do any
kind of focused solo work in that environment. But that’s okay – because you
have your home-working days! Home-working is great for tasks that you need to
just stick your head down and get on with. That might be fussy admin jobs or
intense projects like report-writing or spreadsheet-wrangling that you can only
do with zero distractions. You’ll soon come to cherish the serenity of
home-working days as much as you crave the banter and camaraderie of the
office.

Build-in social time

Some thought also needs to be put into how you
can make your team gel again now that they will be working in the same space
once more. It’s been a year full of change, so it could even be that there are
new team members, you’ve said goodbye to some colleagues, and people’s
priorities, circumstances and relationships will undoubtedly have shifted. Your
team will benefit from some time away from the business-as-usual to (re)build
their connections with each other. Whether that’s something simple, like trying
to round everyone up for after-work drinks or five-a-side, or something more elaborate,
like a team-building session or away day, it’s worth investing some time and
energy into your staff’s wellbeing and socialising, so that everyone is happy
at work and communicating well with each other.

Whatever your recruitment business’s planned mix
of office and remote-working, Kingsbridge is here to support our partners. As
things continue to open up, we hope that there’ll be lots of new opportunities
on the horizon for contractors. Kingsbridge can help by providing your hires
with comprehensive
and compliant business insurance all in one simple package
, including that all-important PI and PL cover. Our packages are
designed specifically for contractors and come with a price guarantee. What’s
more, through our affiliate scheme, partners can earn commission when their
invitees sign up for a policy with us. Find out more on our partnerships
page
or call us on 01242 808740 for a
chat with our expert team.