Bringing the Office Home
For increasing numbers of workers, the option to Work From Home (WFH) has become an important perk, even preferable to a raise. The Wall Street Journal offered tips recently on how to ask your boss to WFH, including positioning it as a career development conversation rather than an accommodation.
But while a common technology platform can help create consistency for WFH employees, for many companies, work is much more than what happens on a laptop. It’s a lived experience.
The WFH problem in need of solution is not simply that your team is far away and we miss each other. It's that the aggregate of your employees’ WFH situations are not consistent, coherent, or comprehensive in the way that your office experience is. There are just too many disparate experiences, pulling your organization in a thousand different directions everyday.
Your organization has spent a lot of time and energy developing office environments that communicate or facilitate many of the central elements of your work experience and your company’s strategy.
So, how can you answer at least some of these key strategic questions at a distance?
Identity: Who are you as a company, and how do you differentiate?
Values: What do you stand for, and what do you believe in?
Behaviors: What are your standards and expectations for how you want your team to work and deliver a high-quality end product or service?
Relationships: How do you create and build relationships, both internally and with your clients or customers?
Teamwork: How do you prefer to collaborate? Why is that kind of teamwork valuable?
These questions are the essence and lifeblood of your organization, and a well-designed office experience helps amplify your answers. Your team’s WFH arrangements need to address these questions, too. None of these strategic issues are going away because of the pandemic or because employees are working from home.
If every company offers remote work, organizations run the risk of allowing interchangeable experiences. It’s hard enough to keep good talent, but the situation worsens if people can’t meaningfully distinguish one company from another through the work experience.
Wolcott’s HomeWork project is looking at ways to bring design solutions from the office experience into WFH setups. We want to give clients a steering wheel for their WFH experience. Instead of relying solely on the subjective and specific WFH situations of your employees, we’re tackling some key questions:
How do we create more consistency and coherency through WFH?
What are key ways to experience a common culture in a home office, beyond technology solutions alone?
Contact Wolcott to talk further about your organization’s unique challenges, now and moving forward.