There’s not too much caution when it comes to planning business operations for uncertain times and, to be sure, we’re just facing one such period.
As always, there’s good news and bad news — good news being that work models have evolved to allow for more flexible options, and bad news being that remote work is becoming more and more appealing, even to your loyal employees.
That is to say, if you’re haven’t set up a hybrid work model, you might be unpleasantly surprised.
There’s good news here, too. Namely, there are different hybrid work models that allow for a smooth transition. Let’s take a look at the options:
- Partially remote work, with flexible office space – no permanent offices; rented flex space used for periodic collaboration (but not connectivity)
- Almost entirely on premises – limited remote work, large office space the majority of managers and workers
- Partially remote work, multiple hubs – multiple offices with the workforce dispersed among them
- Partially remote work, large office space – the majority of managers and workers spend most, but not all, of their time at the office
- Almost entirely off premises – mostly remote work with no office space
- Multiple microhubs – management and employees are dispersed across small microhubs located in different cities (or countries, depending on the scope of your business operations)
Now, depending on your scope of operations and the profile of employees you hire, you may offer different options to different hires and also cut down on the costs by decreasing the number of office spaces.
Keep in mind, though, that remote workers come from all walks of life. Since they may be located literally anywhere in the world, different contract types may work for them, so make sure to offer flexibility in this regard, too.
Here’s just one of many examples: many people are turning to digital nomadism but still working for the same company and holding dual citizenship. This means different taxation rules may apply, so make sure you offer different contract types!
Make Onboarding Matter
Now, the next crucial moment is onboarding training. Needles to say, it is of extreme importance to make sure all new and transfer hires are on the same page for day one, but with remote workers, you may have to come up with different strategies.
Certainly, one-size-fits-all strategies don’t exist, but some approaches may prove more useful than others. Make sure to adjust onboarding training to reflect the trainees learning methods. That is to say, you may need to combine different teaching techniques, so experiment a bit to find the best combination.
Simplify Frontline Procedures
Much and more can be done when it comes to simplifying your frontline teams’ work. You should keep in mind that this category of workers is the most problematic and the most willing to look for better job opportunities elsewhere, due to two reasons:
- Many frontline workers resign due to bad relationship with the management
- Frontline workers are in high demand; there’s more job openings than applicants
As for the first, train your managers. The main issue here is that the majority of managers lack experience in the field. As a rule, they only have a degree to back up their CVs, but don’t really know what field work is like, so devise additional training for them.
As for the latter, the solution is simple. You need to offer better conditions than the competition. For starters, use timesheet template and tracking hours apps to simplify manual work. Next one, keep your frontline workers in the loop by applying field service best practices.
Here are some ideas:
First of all, it is essential that all frontline workers are being kept in the loop, which means that foeld service best practices should be followed through.
Here are some trends:
Service Best Practices
1. Schedule services at the right time and place, taking day-to-day workflow into account
2. Track the costs; they should include job costs, contractor and equipment costs
3. Track job progress by enabling better communication
Project Best Practices
1. Organize project phases
2. Manage project phases
3. Track costs and budgets in real-time
4. Manage billing and invoicing
Maintenance Best Practices
1. Test your assets in the field
2. Keep your assets organized
3. Plan asset servicing in the field
Implement AI and Automations
Last but not least, consider implementing AI and automation. AI in the workplace can prove quite helpful, but it is also crucial to provide proper training for your employees.
When it comes to automation, it should be crystal clear how decreasing the workload of manual work can help all employees manage their better and perform better.
When it comes to priorities for uncertain times, it is crucial to take various angles into account so that they address all potentially problematic areas. The four most important ones are:
- Proper onboarding training
- Simplified frontline procedures
- Use of AI and automation
The rest should be adjusted as needed.