3. Talk About the Benefits
Some careers and employees have been enjoying the benefits of WFA long before the COVID-19 pandemic. Entire industries such as entertainment, writing/publishing and others have found WFA just as productive and focused as those working in an office.
Other benefits to WFA include our ability to:
Balance Life Better. Employees can spend more time with family members and can stay more active with the ability to squeeze in exercise before, after or in between work.
Stress Less About Commuting. Not only is commute time decreased and associated costs removed, but employees can also experience less stress and anxiety. Research shows that commuting just 10 miles to work each day is associated with health issues like higher cholesterol, elevated blood sugar levels and increased risk of depression.
Lift Location Limitations. People are freer to consider a broader range of job opportunities that aren’t limited by geographic location. At the same time, companies can tap into much larger pools of talent.
Embrace Diversity and Inclusion. WFA enables companies to hire people from different locales, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds and with different perspectives.
Save Money. Employers can save money on not just office space but likely find great talent at better pay rates. People can save money on gas, car maintenance, transportation, parking fees, a professional wardrobe, lunches, coffee, snacks and more.
Help the Environment. Working at least part-time from home supports a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions with an average of 7.8 billion fewer vehicle miles traveled each year and $980 million in oil savings. WFA has the same potential impact on air quality as planting an entire forest of 91 million trees.
Increase Productivity and Performance. WFA usually comes with fewer interruptions, less office politics, a quieter noise level and more efficient meetings. WFA employees and the companies they work for tend to focus on what really matters — Getting Smart Stuff Done™.
Live A Happier, Healthier Work Life. Studies show that 72% of employers say employees are sticking with their employer when they have WFA options. WFA employees tend to be happier and more loyal employees because they have less stress and more time for personal hobbies and interests. They feel their personal relationships are also improved, and that includes work relationships. WFA can also help employees make healthy choices.
4. Prepare for Uncertainties
During the decision process, employees will need to have conversations with themselves, their loved ones and their leaders around certain uncertainties, such as:
- Do we have the tools we need to succeed when working from anywhere?
- Will it affect my career if I choose to WFA?
- Will I have to take a pay cut to WFA?
- Will my relationships with co-workers change if we’re not together in person?
- Will I still have the same opportunity for advancement if I choose to WFA
5. Prepare Your Organization
There is no perfect answer as we move into this Work From Anywhere World™. Every company is unique in terms of who it is, what it does, and how it serves and creates value. High Trust Companies (HTC’s) endeavor to be as open as possible with their employees about where their heads are in terms of WFA. It’s 1000% OK if you don’t know and are still trying to figure it out. Your employees will understand if you share your thoughts on not just the pros and cons but the things that you are not 100% certain about. In my opinion, not only will every company end up needing to take a position on WFA, but I think each team will need to do the same. Ultimately, the company and team leaders are responsible for building a company composed of great teams that love not just working well together but working well with the other teams. To make this transformational shift into a Work From Anywhere World easier, companies are embracing the use of what some refer to as a “company operating system” (COS) to stay connected, productive and aligned. The right technology becomes essential. The Ninety SaaS platform supports the Entrepreneurial Operating System® - one of the more popular COS’s - and is composed of a collection of what we call Whole Company Tools™ that make it Almost Easy™ for teams to WFA.
- Determine if your current job allows WFA by talking with your boss and team. If so, move forward with the next steps.
- Create a pros and cons list compiled with the benefits and the uncertainties that you and your team may experience.
- While there's no perfect playbook to move to a completely WFA World, a Company Operating System is the key to staying connected, productive and aligned.
About the Author
Mark Abbott is the Visionary/Founder of Ninety.io and a sought-after business leader, writer and executive-team coach. With nearly four decades of experience with early stage, small and mid-sized companies as a lender, investor and business builder, his passion centers on helping people build extraordinarily productive, humane and resilient companies. He's helped successfully build, lead and invest in dozens of organizations.
Learn about Ninety and request a free trial at: https://www.ninety.io/sign-up.
Learn more about Mark at: http://markabbott.global/
Read Mark's essays at: https://markabbottglobal.medium.com/