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Verdantix report – 5 best practices for success in the hybrid working era

When you look back to the beginning of the first lockdown, are you proud of how rapidly your facilities team was able to adapt to enable your business to survive – and possibly even thrive? But what now? Do you have concrete next steps for your workplace strategy?

A growing number of organisations have announced their plans to shift to a hybrid system of remote and in-office work. Corporate real estate and facility management leaders have a key role to play in operationalising these hybrid strategies and implementing change at the building level.

For a limited time, Planon is offering free access to a report by Verdantix which outlines five best practices for success in your future workplace strategies for 2021 and beyond. The report is based on a thorough evaluation of 100 return-to-work strategies and global interviews with 250 corporate heads of real estate on their post-COVID strategies.

Click Here to Request Report

Why FM professionals urgently need to switch to virtual receptionists

By Bringme

Many FM professionals are currently struggling to adapt their buildings to the new, hybrid way of working. They’re afraid that they will have to do a lot of adaptations to their infrastructure and that they will have to invest a lot.

The good news is that there is an innovative solution that they can implement swiftly and easily. A solution that solves most of their problems in one fell swoop, saving them money in the process. It’s called Bringme’s virtual receptionist. And it comes with a number of really interesting benefits.

The benefits at a glance:

• A permanent access, delivery, visitor & asset management system facilitating hybrid work.

• No more complaints or lost parcels: the system signs for parcels, even when nobody is there.

• The FM’s presence is no longer required: the virtual receptionist welcomes visitors automatically and registers them. 24/7.

• The virtual receptionist is never ill, absent or ‘out of office’ yet it performs a quick health check and keeps everyone safe.

• And best of all: it doesn’t cost a thing, on the contrary! By installing this system, companies can save up to up to 45,000 pounds a year.

“We set out looking for a solution to just collect parcels and ended up with Bringme’s virtual receptionist – a system that has transformed the way we manage our buildings. What more could we want?”
George Barclay – Building manager Liverpool Science Park

>> Discover the virtual receptionist

New White Paper helps employers foster safe and productive homeworkers

iHASCO, a market-leading provider of workplace eLearning, has released a free white paper to help support organisations with Health & Safety, compliance and productivity for homeworkers. It is free to download from the iHASCO​ website.

With many organisations used to operating from offices across the UK and having the luxury of time to implement strategies and carefully plan any big projects, being thrown into homeworking has been tough. It has brought up many questions, including those of logistics and feasibility in order to ensure business operations can continue. In some cases, a huge deal of adaptation is required but if an organisation has any employees working from home they still have a number of Health & Safety, HR & compliance considerations to assess.

“We wanted to pool our knowledge to the benefit of all those organisations being thrown into homeworking at present” says Will Davies, Marketing Manager at iHASCO. “Here at iHASCO, we are lucky to have the expertise and knowledge to continue to run operations and support our staff. We wanted to help other businesses that may be struggling to achieve smooth homeworking operations.”

The white paper touches on the importance and requirements of general health and safety for homeworkers, such as fire awareness and correct DSE (Display Screen Equipment) set up, along with:

  • ●  The benefits of home working
  • ●  GDPR, Cyber Security and other compliance implications
  • ●  Practical tips for homeworkers to remain effective and productive
  • ●  The best forms of communication when homeworking
  • ●  Free working from home resources
  • ●  A working from home checklist

You can download the white paper here.

Five tips for leading teams remotely

If you’ve always managed a team based in the same location as you, moving from an office-based team to having some or all of your team working remotely can be a significant transition.

As so many businesses in the UK are now offering their employees remote and home working options, UK IT managed services company, TSG, are here to share some practical advice for leading remote teams and protecting productivity.

  1. Keep in touch regularly

This sounds kind of obvious, right? It’s easy to forget, though, and it’s so important.

Make sure you contact your team every day, whether you have a stand-up-type call at the start of the day or more informal chats through the day. If we go an entire day without seeing or talking to our team, we can begin to feel disconnected and isolated. You could even introduce ‘watercooler’ calls – encouraging your team to join you on video conferences with their cuppas and chat for 15 mins about anything and everything. The likes of Microsoft Teams channels can be ideal for sharing non-work related topics that might interest everyone.

  1. Turn your video on!

And encourage your team to do the same. This might not work for everyone all of the time, but as you’re likely looking at your workforce operating remotely for a significant period of time, this helps you mimic face-to-face meetings. It’s easier to read colleagues’ reactions and convey your sentiment if you’re able to see each other. If you’re worried about the messy bookshelf/sofa/room behind you, use the magic background blur button on Teams so that your colleagues will only see you.

  1. Pick up the phone

If you have an important question or need to delegate something urgent to a member of your team, call your colleague rather than emailing or instant messaging. If they’re busy and you need to get on, set a pop-up reminder to tell you when they are back online or are available – this is standard functionality within Microsoft Teams.

That’s not to say instant messaging doesn’t have a place; messaging your team throughout the day with less critical items or if you’re unable to make a call is another essential way to ensure you’re regularly touching base with your team.

  1. Be focused and available

Even remotely, it’s noticeable to your team when you’re not focused or if you’re distracted. Even if you think you look available and online, your colleagues will be able to tell if you’re not as focused or productive as usual. That said, we’re all more productive when we take regular breaks, and this is even more important when working from home. If you’re taking a break, let your team know by setting a message in your status to let them know when you’ll be back online.

  1. Make sure your team members have everything they need

Many companies are now using Microsoft Teams for conference calls, instant messaging, collaborating and sharing documents, as well as using Microsoft Planner for organising and managing our productivity. Whatever solution you choose to use, make sure your team is familiar with using it and that your people have everything they need to access your business solutions from home. This could come in the form of cloud-based solutions like Office 365 and Microsoft Teams, or using a VPN to access your on-premises business-critical systems.

Article produced by Natasha Bougourd from TSG, a managed IT services company with locations around the UK, specialising in IT support and solutions, security and applications including Office 365 and Sage.