Supporting team members in the switch to remote work
Ask the Expert with Ashleigh Myerscough — Episode 14
Ashleigh Myerscough is a Performance Coach at 7Geese and an expert in human resources management. She’s answering some of the excellent questions we are receiving from our customers and contacts about how to continue to successfully manage their companies during the current health crisis.
Q: How are companies supporting team members to transition their desk from the office to home?
AM: As more and more companies are looking at remote working being a longer-term reality, rather than a short-term fun change of venue, preparing for that change from a resourcing perspective can be unchartered waters.
We experienced this at 7Geese too. Rather than guessing at what our team members needed, we asked them.
While most of the team here at 7Geese was working from home a couple times a week or month, having the whole team move fully remote highlighted some opportunities for the company to support the flock a little better.
To help identify just what our flock needed to feel supported during this transition, we conducted an anonymous feedback survey to ask our teams:
- How do you like working from home?
- Do you prefer working from home compared to the office?
- Do you have a separate space you can work than where you live?
- What have we done well to support you to work from home so far?
- What can we do better to support you moving forward?
As a result of the survey, we made the decision to downsize our office. The survey results indicated that even after the effects of COVID wind down, the majority of the team wants to stay remote, they just need a few things to make it more effective.
Helping to create better home offices
One of those things was office supplies, such as a desk, chairs, monitors, keyboards, mice, headsets, etc. We offered these (now surplus) office supplies to our team to help them configure their spaces at home.
This provided a little bit of familiarity, even in unfamiliar conditions. It also transformed our otherwise unused assets into perks for our team. We also increased our work-from-home annual expense limit to accommodate any additional needs that our current surplus of supplies didn’t cover.
The second was internet coverage. Many team members were experiencing call drops and not enough bandwidth, especially for those with kids at home who were sharing the network. We implemented a monthly stipend to support the flock to increase their internet coverage at their discretion. Depending on where you’re located, this could even be a taxable benefit to your team member.
Budget-friendly perks that promote wellness
A third area was around health and wellness. Our current office space has a gym, which not all of the flock has access to at home. We created a wellness allowance for our team to use for health initiatives at home. This includes coverage for monthly subscriptions to apps, exercise equipment, or other items that directly benefit health and wellbeing. Our team members submit their expenses and are reimbursed on their next payroll.
We’ve also heard about companies that have sent snacks and groceries to their team members’ homes, in lieu of the snacks and such around the office. This could be from the same budget that was previously allocated to stocking the office kitchen.
So rather than guessing what your team needs to feel supported during this transition from a short-term to longer-term reality, ask them. For our part, we will continue to check in with our team via feedback surveys to ensure they still have what they need to set them up for success. As those needs change, we can adjust accordingly. To see how we do this at 7Geese, using 7Geese reach out for a tour.
Survey templates you can use now
Want to learn more about 7Geese’s employee engagement survey tools and OKR software? Download our free survey templates now or email us with your questions.