How a flexible workspace can improve mental wellness? Read to find out more!
Do you find it challenging to adapt between remote working and working in the office? Check out some of the most valuable tips from 8 Arcc Spaces leaders on how to work flexible with success.
Over the last year, COVID-19 has sparked the catalyst of adopting flexible working arrangements, becoming the new normal. Amidst the pandemic and beyond, many have found flexible working to be more productive and healthier, providing more of a work-life balance when done right. The phenomenon has in turn driven a revolutionary change in working standards and demands, creating a need for companies to transit towards adopting a flexible working routine.
The transition however is no easy feat. Understanding the requirements of your team, demands of your clients and mutual agreements are just some of the critical prerequisites that enable a successful flexible working arrangement. But it is certainly not an impossible task either. As a leading flexible workplace provider with centres across Asia, some of our company leaders have gathered real life experience on how they have transitioned towards successful remote working during the pandemic.
Here are 8 pieces of valuable advice curated by 8 experts at Arcc Spaces on how to achieve the most out of flexible working:
“I have always believed that every individual has a unique style of working. It is critical to understand how each member of your team works to prepare each person to adapt quickly to flexible working arrangements – working from home and working in the office. I would suggest setting up a meeting for the entire team to discover as a collective what are the best ways for the entire team to work together.”
By understanding how your teammates work from an individual perspective, you will be able to work more efficiently with them no matter where they are working be it in their own homes or within the same office during different days. Start by talking with them individually to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. From there, you should be able to have a clear picture of how to plan for an effective flexible working blueprint, personalised to your team.
“It is very important to let myself and my teammates be conscious that we have established a mutual trust in everything we have planned out to achieve our OKRs. For my team, we have set a consensus to hold follow-up meetings every week to discuss ways to improve, analyze pipelines or even to catch up as friends.”
Flexible working allows each and every working individual to enjoy more room to focus on their key tasks with trust being the key motivator for all team members to excel at their own autonomy. However, it is of paramount importance to understand what develops trust is actually regular engagement, and what breaks it is micromanagement. By engaging your team members online/offline about the progress at work and treating them as a friend on a regular basis, effective flexible working for your team can go a long way.
“There have been many more ways to communicate with our colleagues and partners as more communication platforms are developed. It has become very convenient for us, but I believe it is more important to understand and agree as a team, about when is it better to meet remotely and when it is a more suitable time to meet in the office.”
The culture of flexible working ideally provides the luxury of having the choice to hold discussions between your teammates and clients virtually or within a physical meeting space. But it is up to the majority decision of the stakeholders of a meeting to decide whether to meet up online or in the office. Factors that could influence a decision could be the physical availability of each stakeholder or whether the meeting requires a more interactive approach. These could vary among different teams and would be best evaluated upon a case-by-case discussion on which is a better platform for a particular meeting. At the end of the day, it is all about ensuring every stakeholder understands their next steps after every meeting without sacrificing too much time and efficiency.
“To encourage collaboration within teams, I have always believed in being open about opinions between team members. It is this open culture that will allow a team to grow exponentially. Feedback should always be welcomed in the most constructive and encouraging manner to help team members learn better and if it is a good one, never hold back acknowledgment and compliments. While working remotely, I like to send out encouraging messages to each of my team members who have achieved their goals, explain the reasons for their success and advise the rest of the team to learn from them. Every team member has the potential to shine and such little words of motivation can really make a difference for boosting morale.”
At the end of the day, all teammates contribute towards achieving a common objective and as we all have our own unique traits, we will never know how one’s idea could spark a huge catalyst towards achieving that common objective until we are all open enough to listen. Even if it is not something we expect, we can offer constructive feedback to help provide insights into our own perspectives which could bring us one step closer towards getting a brilliant idea out from the team. Never forget showing appreciation as well when it’s due. It is one of the most critical factors that retains your talents within the team, and it is easier than you think to show it wherever you are offline or online.
“We can’t all be at different places at one time, but we can certainly track a team’s progress using a project management software or business communication platform. We just need to determine which one we want to pick up, deciding as a team. Using a dedicated platform, one that we are familiar with, it becomes easier to stay aligned as a team instead of constantly checking in on each other’s progress all the time.”
When there are constant moves for teams to adopt flexible working between working in the office and at home, information about progress could be lost without something that could help to keep track. Therefore, it is wise to invest in a project management software for the team to unlock the far-reaching potential of flexible working by utilizing the software to track the team’s progress. Such software is in demand right now, and software engineers have been constantly improving the user experience to lower the learning curve of new users onboard.
“Whether I work in the office or at home, the key to maintaining a high level of productivity and motivation is to have focus. Focus means keeping my mind fresh and hungry for the tasks I’ve planned for the day, regardless of where I’m working and being aware of the need for a break in between is absolutely essential. In the office, there are breakout spaces where I can get a change of scenery, or even dedicated wellness rooms where I can recharge allows me to maintain high levels of focus. When working from home, building a rhythm around a clear schedule that accommodates rest and non-work hours ensures that I don’t suffer from burnouts that affect my focus.”
Focus is the key to get work done. It is a critical requirement wherever you work and certainly cannot be achieved by a constant working day, with no breaks. Knowing when to take a break is just as important as determination to fulfil a task in order to prevent brain fatigue that could eventually contribute to burnout, and it is up to us to determine a balance between work and rest. Start by telling yourself that it is ok to take your eye off work for a moment. Make sure to take small breaks away from your screen to avoid overworking but do set a limit to avoid converting breaks into distractions unknowingly. It could be a routine, or it could be something spontaneous – it all depends on how you prefer to work and discipline.
“Since we might not get to see each other physically every day, it is good to keep in mind that there is a need to vigilantly look out for each other especially when workloads for the team are higher or more challenging than usual. A simple catch-up meeting remotely or in the office every week is a good start to check on how everyone is feeling and just interact as a team. After all, we do live a life outside of work, so it is best to treat your teammates as a friend rather than a coworker.”
Every company strives to perform better every year and it is definitely normal to experience overwhelming workload at times. It is everyone’s responsibility to perform their role properly within each team but if every team member looks out for each other as friends, it will help to instill so much more value and reflect the importance of working hard to achieve good results. Not only will they be reminded that there is no shame in asking for help from teammates but it will also enable them to go the distance in the long run as they learn the values of being a true team player.
“No matter where we work whether it is at home or in the office, the environment has to be conducive for work. By default, offices are designed for working while homes are not. But it is always possible to convert it to a workstation. It just requires a bit of effort to remove unwanted clutter, as well as a little investment into ergonomic office furniture that can help to create a more comfortable and healthier working experience.”
Converting a small part of your home to an optimal workstation is one of the best solutions to eradicate all the distractions that can hinder your working performance. Start by finding a space where it is quiet and cool with ample natural light. Then, consider the types of ergonomic office furniture that would suit your space and you.
As the world continues to evolve and innovate, flexible working, or hybrid working offers limitless opportunities that can enhance employee productivity in many aspects. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become increasingly popular and is a working arrangement on its way to becoming the new normal. So, why not start looking into how your team can work flexible effectively today and execute your hybrid working road map for post-COVID19.
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