Facebook recently revealed plans for the future of remote work at the company. The company stated it would allow most employees to work from home permanently. Other tech companies have taken a similar stance regarding remote work.
While we try to gain some solid footing in the current ever-changing space of work, we ask ourselves whether we should work in person or remotely. Employee retention, as well as staff safety as it relates to work, are of the utmost importance. But how will this transition or hybrid model affect your teams and brand?
Leaders take time to engrain their brand’s core values into the employees and hope that it sticks with them. The question becomes now: Will remote work cause employees to lose focus due to a lack of in-person reinforcement?
Things to Consider
There are many brand-related elements that leaders need to take into consideration if they decide to continue with remote or hybrid work. If you are using Zoom or other such video communication, what does the backdrop look like? What about the employee’s workspace? These small details are projected to clients and others. Meeting with a client is still just that, a meeting. The image you and your employees project is of great importance for brand connection.
What do they see? Does it inspire confidence? You can only blame the pandemic for so long. Business is an organized affair. Get the visuals right and set some standards for the visuals that each group of employees uses on calls.
Training and Staff Cohesion
If remote work is to supplement the physical environment, then business etiquette must be maintained. I would suggest you look at some recent Zoom calls bloopers on the web and use those videos as cautionary tales. Have your staff find a few, discuss what is not favorable in the calls and create a “do not do” checklist. Even if you are at home or another remote location, confidence must be transmitted to the client. Encourage employees to keep their work areas organized as best possible.
Create a staff training time that is regular and discuss any negatives and positives that remote work has brought about. Remember to thank the employees for helping to develop the protocols for the video calls and continue to tweak as needed.
Regardless of whether your employees are offsite or at home, you need to avoid rough attire (think pajamas). They still represent your brand and must project an attitude of preparedness. Work casual and at-home comfortable attire are two different things and offsite standards for this need to be developed and adhered to.
Attention While on Call
As we move from the novelty of the video call and embrace it as a full-on utility, it’s imperative that your employees are engaged and don’t look disinterested on calls. It may be wise to create a simulation where mock online calls are critiqued amongst each other to develop a comfort level among your staff. This can be great for team cohesion if your staff will be working primarily offsite.
Each employee should champion and exemplify the brand identity. A simple way to do this is to create branded backgrounds for their calls. There is an abundance of products that exist to accomplish this. Clients need to know who they’re doing business with. Train employees to set up for each call with any necessary notes and develop a call checklist as a guide they can refer to. This helps employees join calls fully prepared to represent your brand.
Adopting new technology is bound to pose hiccups as people adjust to this new dimension of work. Use this as an opportunity to establish a remote work plan and make sure that it’s not too rigid. Considering each remote space will have different features, tweaks are allowed.
That’s all for now, got to Zoom.