On any given day you can enter my home and find a flurry of activity — not only among my husband, mom, kids and dogs, but also among the SimplyConnectors scattered throughout my house: sitting around the kitchen table brainstorming creative ideas, in my office on a conference call, on the patio working on a presentation, in the kitchen making a sandwich while discussing a best approach, or in the backyard taking a much-needed Pilates break. My home is the “Mission Control Center” of SimplyConnect.
The freedom of working virtually is a little of our secret sauce. But, it’s not groundbreaking. Study after study from publications like Forbes, Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review have shown that for the right types of jobs, working virtually can increase productivity and job satisfaction as well as lower turnover. Could it be part of your team’s secret sauce in the future?
- Flexibility — Listen, it’s not just the generation coming into the workforce who wants flexibility. Many of us not only want it, but we thrive on it. For jobs that require critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving and innovation, it’s tough to accomplish these tasks and sit in meetings and on conference calls 25-30 hours a week. So, ask yourself…
- What would I be able to accomplish if I worked virtually 20% of the time, or one day a week?
- What is the probability that my team could come up with a better idea or an improvement if they also had 20% of their time back to work virtually?
Now, I can guess what you’re thinking, “How can they collaborate if they aren’t here? How will I know what they are really doing? We’re so lean; there’s no time for this fluffy stuff.” Ask our team. While it can always be better, we’re collaborating every day. We would also argue that great employees will do the right thing regardless if they are in the building or working virtually. And, if you’re doing more with less, then giving people more flexibility is even more important if you want to keep them engaged at work.
Go ahead. Try it for one-quarter, and see if it takes your team to the next level.
- Environment — What do General Mills, Quicken Loans, and Whole Foods have in common? They invest in the employee environment and have been recognized by Fortune for their coolest offices. Now, I don’t know about you, but when I hear “Quicken Loans,” I don’t think, “yeah, they are totally going to have a kick butt office like Google!” And, you don’t necessarily have to go for the pool tables and yoga rooms either. Maybe that’s not even what some of your team members want. But, the traditional walls of a corporate office probably aren’t going to inspire the next out-of-the-box idea either. Here’s the SimplyConnect scoop — everyone works in the style that suits them best — working from their kitchen table, a Starbucks or a patio; working early mornings or late evenings; working at a desk, on an airplane, from the couch or by the pool; or working in yoga pants, a business suit or PJs. It’s whatever helps each of us focus and gets our creative juices flowing!
So, ask yourself…
- What environment really helps you think?
- What’s stopping you from spending that 20% of your time there?
- Could your team deliver even better results if they were able to work in a space that they love one day a week?
It’s this kind of flexibility and freedom to work in an environment where we thrive that helps us deliver great results for our clients. What could happen if you tried it out?