flexible working in office and at home

19th October 2021

Guide: How To Run An Effective Flexible-Working Office

Andrew Morgan

6 devices Finding an appropriate computer device leasing solution will enable your business to be more effective at establishing a flexible-working office.

Leasing computer devices is far more customisable and responsive to business needs and your current situation. Certain leasing solutions like DaaS can help facilitate a reactive and agile working environment.


Why Should You Develop A Flexible-Working Office?

The pandemic has revealed some interesting facts about business and the modern world: you need to be ready for anything.

Or, more accurately, you must be ready for rapid change at a moment’s notice. Companies with rigid structures won’t survive well because they cannot adapt quickly.

Flexible working was increasingly popular prior to the pandemic. More and more businesses were embracing remote workers. It was, naturally, popular among staff as well for the freedom it gave.

The realities of the pandemic accelerated this trend and made remote working a necessity.

arm your team with devices to succeed While many businesses are relieved to have staff back in the office, it would be smart for all businesses to have a flexible working strategy in place.

With COVID still a threat, especially overwinters, and the government rumbling about returning to some restrictions, it is clear that an adaptable business will continue to come out on top over the next few years.

So, what do we mean by flexible working?

It used to mean job sharing or choosing your own hours. Now, flexible working is synonymous with remote working or hybrid working.

Remote working is the idea of staff working from outside the office. In the pandemic era, this usually means working from home, but in fact, could refer to working from anywhere.

During the latter part of the pandemic, hybrid working has become the norm. This is where staff sometimes work in the office, but also work from home part of the time. This method of work is beneficial because:

  • Increases a positive work/life balance for staff

  • Allows for collaborative working

  • Reduces commuting for staff

  • Allows social distanced offices and minimises disease spread

  • Is the best of both worlds, allowing for the safety of home working with the hands-on, collaborative approach of office working

65% of public sector organisations believe hybrid working will continue long after the threat of COVID 19 is minimised. 55% of private firms agree.

windows devices for your team The pandemic rapidly accelerated the usage of home working and hybrid working. Firms that did not have flexible working plans in place were slow to adapt, which cost them business, profits, and endangered staff and company data.

We have no way of knowing if more lockdowns or limited restrictions will be needed in the future, however, it is reasonably likely. Even without lockdowns, self-isolating staff, or poorly staff can reduce productivity, therefore, keeping staff healthy should be a priority for all companies.


What Are The Benefits Of A Flexible-Working Strategy For Your Business?

  • Compliance with government restrictions

  • Be COVID safe – less risk + safe, healthy workers = fewer absences

  • Reduced overheads – less office space and heating required

  • Salaries don’t need to be as high to cover the commute

  • Happier staff

  • More productive staff

  • Attract a bigger pool of talent from more locations


How To Create A Successful and Productive Flexible-Working Office

In order for businesses to be prepared to shift from office working to home working to hybrid working and back again continually and at a moment’s notice, they need a plan.

Businesses should have a clear structure and strategy to ensure a flexible-working office runs smoothly, and efficiently and doesn’t impact productivity or employee welfare.

So, what tactics enable this type of business to function?

  • Shift working patterns – For some industries home working is impossible. Think frontline and essential workers. In these environments, the best way to prevent illness is with shift working and testing. Allow for flexible start and finish times in the business, so staff can reduce crowding and exposure.

  • Social distancing – Both shift patterns of work and ensuring staff have enough of the right hardware can make a social distanced office work smoothly.

  • work from home bundle Work from home using the best tech – By putting strategic computer hardware in staff’s hands, you allow them to do their best work from anywhere. Use specialists like Hardsoft to advise you on the best devices for home working and hybrid working. With state-of-the-art laptops, tablets, smartphones, and 2-in-1 devices from Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, HP, and Lenovo, your workers can increase their output and quality of work even at home.

    • Reduce Damaging and Outdated Presenteeism – Enabling staff to do the best work from home on advanced devices will reduce presenteeism. Presenteeism tendencies will put staff in danger during the pandemic winters.

    • Boost Team Cohesion – Collaboration and communications are factors that suffer from homeworking. However, great tech like Apple M1 laptops, Microsoft Surface tablets and Samsung Galaxy Books come with the best video conferencing technology. HD cameras, sophisticated mics and dedicated software make communication from home a breeze.

    • Enable Remote Supervision – If you are worried about data breaches and lost work time, many new business laptops come with remote monitoring software.

  • Get a DaaS package – A DaaS solution will not only allow you to spread the cost of hardware by leasing devices, but it also lets you swap, return, or upgrade your devices to avoid obsoletion.

  • Use a great deployment system – Deployment systems like Apple Business Manager and Microsoft Autopilot allow you to remotely set up devices and have them delivered to your staff’s homes, so they are out of the box ready to go.

  • Get a high-quality MDM – Hardsoft can help set you up with an MDM to better manage the security and access of business devices used at home even BYODs.

  • Use a formal flexible-working policy – Ensure staff know where they stand with remote working, so they know exactly what to do if the situation changes and they need to work remotely.

  • Cite flexible working criteria in staff contracts – Give staff the reassurance that home working is expected of them, and they will be supported from wherever they are.

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