Rethinking the Employee Home Office
In the midst of office redesigns and workplace modernization, leaders can prioritize the home office and create a more equitable and connected employee experience.
Remember that work from home subsidy your company provided at the beginning of the pandemic? Maybe your employees took home a monitor or desk chair too?
Think again if you believe your company solved remote work setups with a one-time subsidy or a computer monitor.
In our new work models, the employee workplace includes the home office. Does that mean companies take full responsibility for everybody's home office? No. But I suppose you expect employees to spend considerable time in front of their computer, delivering critical initiatives and facilitating meetings, like work they previously performed in the office. Don't assume that employees already have what they need. To succeed, employees need training and support from your organization.
A company-wide home office setup and training program builds systemic equality and connection.
Chances are you agree with the statements above, so what is holding us up? Creating a comprehensive home office program requires new content, vision, and training coordination across at least three departments to better support employees in their workspaces. These same departments have been triaging employee experience during a pandemic but, as the pandemic abates, this is the exact type of program that must be at the top of the to-do list.
The Home Office Setup & Training Program
Ready to jump-start the change and help your people stay connected and productive? Introducing the home office program. A cross-functional effort from design to execution and ongoing administration.
When You're Ready For More
Think of the home office from a health and safety perspective. Add in effective ergonomic equipment like standing desks and office chairs, and provide training on setting up at home to avoid back pain, carpal tunnel, and other common office injuries.
Create a Purchase Program
Work with a vendor to set up a company store and purchase program. A store offers discounted prices typically given to bulk orders which helps your subsidy further and funnels employees towards products you know and trust. This option also provides purchase analytics to inform program emphasis and adjust.
The Primer for Multiple Learning Pathways
Getting the elements of this program right will better prepare employees for professional development in many fields. Think of this program as "Virtual Presence Foundations," which can lead to
Effective Virtual Presentations
Engaging Your Virtual Audience
Managing Virtual Teams
Executive Presence on Video
Or to Role & Industry Specific Training
Building Customer Relationships and Trust Virtually
Healthcare Provider Telemedicine Appointment Training
Virtual Selling for Sales Professionals
Facilitating a Virtual Classroom
Engaging Virtual Event Attendees
Get Started with a Pilot
Launch a pilot to show what you're doing and gather feedback. I've set up a program like this for an organization with 100K+ employees. Referrals from pilot participants kept the training booked and gave us the feedback we needed to garner support for scaling.
As a company and as a leader, show that you can adapt the type of support you offer and that you're investing in providing an equitable experience for everyone. Now is the time to launch your home office program.
Alexis Hultine is the owner and principal consultant of Digital By Design. She designs digital solutions that enable employees to be productive and enjoy their work from anywhere.