By Liza Weaver

The latest topic of controversy is long-term effects of working from home. Is it sustainable, reasonable, and effective? Would this set-up our company for long-term financial success and improve communication skills? How will our employees react if all training exercises and miscellaneous activities takes place directly within the comfort of their home?

Companies large and small have been exploring this topic for decades, such as Bank of America, AT&T, Aetna, Yahoo, Reddit, and Best Buy.  Amid the COVID-19 shutdown, 95% of Best Buy’s corporate campus is working remote. “We expect to continue on a permanent basis with some form of flexible work options” a spokeswoman said.

On the flip side, Marissa Mayer, the chief executive of Yahoo, says “Some of the best decisions and insights come from the hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people and impromptu team meetings.”

While these are all very important considerations and key ideas to discuss, we need to stay afloat with the current pandemic and ways to actively improve communication styles. The key strategy is to consistently be in-touch with your employees, supervisor, and fellow co-workers.

Due to the current pandemic, most Corcentric employees began working from home mid-March and will continue to do so unless notably safe to our co-workers and the community. Ultimately, the option to work remotely or in-office is no longer a preference, therefore we are working together to enhance the system(s) in place to effectively communicate virtually.

I wanted to highlight the strategies Corcentric is applying to stay ahead, promote conversation, and answer any out-standing questions or concerns related to the current pandemic and long-term commitments to working remote.

Ways to Stay Ahead:

  • Surveys
    • Corcentric releases a survey to all employees to better understand how they are feeling about returning to the office, the pandemic, roadblocks experienced through working remotely, and ways to improve. The survey requires the employee to reveal the location by which they are headquartered to better understand comfort by location and responsiveness by employees located within that area.
    • Survey results are shared, addressed, and further discussed during Town Hall meetings
  • Town Hall Meetings
    • Company-wide meetings held quarterly to discuss the financial health of the company and address pandemic concerns by employees. The meeting includes open conversation and a dedicated period for “Q&A” to ensure all employee are heard.
  • Weekly / Monthly Touchpoints
    • Weekly and monthly meetings are held with immediate supervisors and directors to discuss important updates, address questions, and discuss long-term strategies to meet goals during this unprecedented period.

Additional Incentives:

  • Corcentric recently launched a program allowing employees to take extra PTO to volunteer and offer community service to our local communities. By doing so, we are actively promoting time-off to decompress, provide a sense of purpose, reduce stress, and protect our mental health.
  • Remote happy hour and game nights with co-workers to encourage employee engagement and to in-turn improve collaboration and teamwork. This gives a chance for employees to interact with one another, celebrate accomplishments, enhance company culture.
  • Actively promoting mental health days, vacations, and taking time-off to reduce burn out and address work/life balance.

While there are many questions, ideas, and discussions about the pros and cons to working remotely long-term, I would like to point out the importance of actively staying present and considering the employee(s) experiences given the recent pandemic. After all, the employees are the meat of the company and their value is key to reaching current and future success.

This article originally appeared at https://www.strategicsourceror.com/2020/08/strategies-to-enhance-communication-and.html