The traditional office setting is no longer a given when it comes to running your business. Time was that everyone knew what to expect from an office, down to the kettle in the break room.
These days businesses are embracing more flexible models of working that can make a difference to how an office is run. As things change, good communications become even more important than ever.
So just what changes are afoot and what can your business do to help keep communications strong?
Traditional Office Is Changing
The old style of office is certainly changing. It’s not uncommon now to have more than one office for your business, often in quite different geographical locations. This can even include offices abroad.
Telecommuting is changing the face of the office too. With telecommuting on the rise it’s becoming more and more common for staff members to work away from the office part or even full time.
You might also notice your workforce becoming more mobile in terms of getting out and about to meet customers.
Pros and Cons of More Flexible Offices
A more flexible office set up has a lot going for it. The ability to work outside of the office cuts out commuting. This can boost staff morale, and can also help you retain top talent who perhaps couldn’t make it to your location every day.
Working out of more locations and having colleagues’ abroad opens your business up to a broader market. You can expand into other places and build a strong team without needing to be in the same city, or even country.
On the other hand, a more flexible office model does come with some challenges. As the article “Alternatives to the Traditional Office” says, collaborating with co-workers on projects can be difficult at the best of times. Having a more disparate work force can add to those difficulties.
A more flexible office can also bring challenges in terms of team bonding and building and keeping a strong company culture, as colleagues spend less time communicating face to face.
Importance of Good Communications
Good communication is a keystone of any business, no matter what your office model. However, there’s no doubt that communication should be even more of a priority if your office is more flexible.
Making communications a priority is the solution to making sure your business runs effectively no matter how flexible your office becomes. Good communications will make sure you deliver great customer service and keep things running smoothly no matter what.
Focusing on communications also means your staff will be able to bond and work well as a team, no matter how far apart they are geographically. Putting the effort in to communicate well will boost collaboration and keep your company culture strong.
How You Can Keep Communications Strong
The first step to keeping communications strong is to pay attention and make your office communications a priority. Don’t let it drift – keep tabs on how well it is working, and what you need to change.
Making use of flexible communication options such as VoIP (voice over internet protocol) telephones and Cloud-based storage will make it easy for your team to stay in touch and share vital information with each other wherever they are.
You can also embrace tools such as teleconferencing and video chats to encourage real-time communications even if your staff members are hundreds of miles apart.
Have Expectations in Place
Setting expectations is vital. Staff who telecommute or work out of different locations should know what is expected of them. This includes where and when to report back on their work, how often they are expected to get into the office, and when they should check in with their colleagues.
A more flexible office model can be a real boon for your business, giving you flexibility and even lowering the amount you need to spend on physical space.
Make communications a priority and your business will benefit no matter what your office set up.
About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on topics including social media, SEO that works, and the importance of good office communications.
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