In a recent report from RAGAN's PR Daily, the results of a nationwide survey found that hoteling, open office spaces meant for collaboration are actually causing more stress than benefits.
"According to survey data collected by Bospar PR, it would appear many of us would—especially those toiling in an “open” office setting.
The survey, which garnered responses from a diverse cross-section of 1,000 U.S. workers, found that 76 percent of Americans “hate open offices.” The top reasons cited included:
- Lack of privacy (43 percent)
- Overhearing too many personal conversations (34 percent)
- Cannot concentrate (29 percent)
- Worries that sensitive information can be leaked (23 percent)
- Can’t do their best thinking (21 percent)
Despite a recent trend of employers tinkering with barrier-free offices, community benches and desk clumps, the science is not sanguine about open workspace productivity. Some have even called such layouts a “disaster.”
What is it workers want, then? Eighty-four percent of Bospar’s respondents said working from home would be ideal. Nearly 60 percent cited “not having to commute” as a top reason for wanting to work remotely, and 41 percent indicated that they’d be more productive working from home. Thirty-five percent said that remote work would enable them to produce more “thoughtful” output."
So how to implement WFH?
To successfully implement work from home programs it is crucial to have a solid infrastructure in place. The foundation is made up of 5 main facets:
1) Technology - Devices
2) Technology - VPN/Network access
3) Technology - Speed and Quality
4) Technology - Collaboration with coworkers
And lastly, 5) Planning/Cadence
While at home it's important that employees have the tools they need to be successful. In many cases this is simply a laptop and possibly an additional monitor but it can include phone, headset or lighting depending on the business.
Ensuring your employees can access things they need through a secure VPN or providing means to directly access the corporate network allows them to work productively and not be bogged down by slow connections, or lack of files/information and systems. With many cloud services offering web browser access, it makes working from home easier.
In some industries, ie Contact Center, it is imperative that the employee have high quality access to their voice channel. This can mean confirming their internet connection at home, segmenting traffic through a at home device or even installing a small router to ensure children's Youtube streaming doesn't interfere with business initiatives.
Although remote, it's important to provide opportunities for employees to connect. Whether through technologies like chat, or video collaboration solutions, allow personal connection through the technology.
One of the most important pieces of the work from home puzzle is the expectation of accomplishing tasks at the same level as when in the office. Setting cadences can assist in the touch base mentality of swinging by a cube or office.
Overall the decision of workspace should be determined by the team as a whole to ensure buy in and adoption. But when it comes to technology, iQSG supports many clients in their approaches to implement more collaborative and secure technologies.