Why work/life balance and productivity go hand in hand

Paul Stevenson productivity blog

Why work/life balance and productivity go hand in hand

“Work Monday to Friday, 9 to 5. Commute to the office – no exceptions.”

Is this your workplace? It doesn’t have to be.

Why remote working is a win-win for your business and your people

Flexible work is still a hot topic after Covid. Lockdown showed millions of people what remote work looks like for the first ever time. A lot of them liked what they saw.

In February, the Office for National Statistics surveyed people who’d worked from home in lockdown. As many as 84% said they’d like at least hybrid work (some days at home, some at the office) going forward.

It’s no wonder. The time and cost of commuting are reason enough – not to mention childcare. And here’s the thing: good staff morale is good for business.

Happy people are more productive. They’re less likely to suffer burnout. They’re more likely to stick around. They’re more likely to say positive things about working for you. This in turn is good for your business’s reputation. You’ll be known as a good employer. Recruitment will get a whole lot easier.

This is the ultimate win-win.


Paul Stevenson productivity blog

How we do it at One Connectivity

Now, full disclosure. I work in business-to-business communications technology. Remote work is a major theme in our industry, for obvious reasons: we provide the tech that makes it viable.

It will surprise no one that I’m in favour of remote and hybrid work. But it’s not just about the solutions we provide to our customers. At One Connectivity we practise what we preach.

I’ll give an example. Not long ago, we had two account managers. Both had young children. Their childcare needs had to be balanced with their work – a balance that’s familiar to millions of people.

It was all about finding a compromise. They both did amazing work for us, but their children naturally came first. So each of them worked part time, and mostly from home. And guess what? It worked. No problems with productivity. No sense that they were excluded from the team. No dip in service for the customers they helped.

The kids are a little older now, and so both Account Managers are working full-time now and in the office more regularly. Their needs changed and we adapted, and by doing so we’ve retained highly knowledgeable and experienced staff. Another win-win!

3 quick tips to make remote working work

So remote working works for your business and your team. But of course, you can’t just plunge straight in without planning. You need the right tech, of course, but culture matters too. Here are a few quick tips we’ve picked up over the years.

  1. Check your tech

I’ll start with the obvious. If you want remote workers to reproduce the standards of officer workers, they need the same tools. A unified communications (UC) platform is great here.

With UC, remote and office workers alike can use your phone system from anywhere, along with instant messaging and video conferencing. This means remote workers can connect with customers and collaborate with colleagues, without any drop in standards.

  1. Check in; don’t check up

You need to stay in contact with your remote team, but there’s a balance to be struck. If you leave them alone entirely, they may feel isolated and out of the loop. But if you’re bombarding them with unscheduled calls, it could start to feel invasive.

The key in my view is to schedule short video calls. Daily huddles are a good way to keep everyone integrated and up to date. All it takes is 10-15 minutes for everyone to say what they’re up to that day. It’s good to make time for one-to-one check-ins as well.

  1. Trust your team

This follows on from the previous tip, but it’s important enough to warrant a separate point. Trust is absolutely fundamental. Some managers remain uneasy about trusting their team to work remotely, even after lockdown.

My advice? Take a leap of faith! Most people want to work and do a good job, wherever they’re doing it. Of course you need a way to assess people’s work. But we’re talking about morale here. Make people feel trusted from the outset.

I hope at least some of this has been useful. I think as business owners, we all understand that good team morale should be an ongoing goal. A little flexibility goes a long way in achieving it.


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