Over the last six months, working from home has become a normality for many people. And we’re not out of the woods yet: more and more countries are currently dealing with a ‘second wave’ of COVID-19 infections, thus reinforcing or reintroducing measures to control the spread of the virus. Whether employers and employees are happy about it or not, we still have to deal with dispersed teams for the time being. That’s why we should no longer view working from home as a temporary solution, but embrace it as a permanent way of working. To always reach everyone in the future, regardless of where and when someone works, we must constantly adapt our internal communication to working from home. Sounds complicated? The technology to do that is already there!
To be able to work from home, organizations must properly arrange multiple practicalities first. Employees must have a suitable workplace and secure access to the company infrastructure, for example. By now, your organization probably has these things in order: working from home has been an important theme for some time now.
Since the start of the coronavirus crisis, companies have had to adjust their communication strategy repeatedly. At the beginning of the crisis, we all looked for easy solutions that were (almost) immediately available. However, not everyone took into account that these channels might become a fundamental part of the organization. Zoom, Slack, or Microsoft Teams were introduced in a hurry. As a result, many organizations now cope with a rampant growth of channels and chats within these platforms. Unfortunate, since various countries have now come to a second wave of coronavirus infections and governments are responding to this by imposing new restrictions to gain back control. This means organizations are imposing new measures too, and these must all be communicated to their workforce. Therefore, a structured but flexible communication strategy remains crucial in these trying times.
After all, government policy is changing parallel to the virus’ movements. Measures can be loosened or become more restrictive at any time. Restrictions can even differ per region, and international differences will cause even more problems for multinationals or companies with geographically dispersed employees.
That’s why it’s crucial to have a communication system that allows you to reach the entire company quickly and easily. Office workers, production workers, drivers, staff working from home, or even furloughed employees – you need to be able to reach everyone.
Moreover, your internal communication must be resistant to change. Because today, everyone may be working from home, while tomorrow, they may all be back at the office. And who knows what next week, next month, or even next year will have in store for us. Now, more than ever, corporate communication needs to be omni-channel. By opting for a communication platform that uses different channels and devices, your employees remain accessible under all circumstances. What’s more, you allow employees to access information through the channel they prefer.
Reaching all employees through an omnichannel platform may sound tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. For example, a short daily message from the CEO on Microsoft Teams could be sufficient to inform everyone of the latest news. With the right technology, you can make sure that this message automatically draws all employees’ attention. Whether you send a message via Teams or use a dedicated content management system, your message will be automatically distributed across multiple channels. One colleague might read the message in Teams, another employee reads it from a large TV screen in a breakroom, and someone else reads it in your corporate app. It does not matter how the message reaches them, as long as it reaches everyone!
Good internal communication when working from home also helps to keep everyone in touch with each other. We miss our colleagues now that we’re all working from home, and personal interactions can lighten the load. If you utilize a powerful communication platform to make it easy to spread messages, it is also easier for colleagues to keep each other informed about their work, and to respond to each other and engage in conversation. It might not entirely replace the daily water-cooler chatter, but it will help connect people.
2020 is a challenging year. Communication professionals must adjust their strategy continuously to keep everyone in the organization informed and engaged despite a constantly changing situation. The right software and tools can make the job a lot easier, especially in combination with the right strategy.
Are you struggling to reach all your colleagues efficiently? No company is the same, so our consultants can help you with a tailor-made solution. You can also download our free infographic about a flexible work style, to immediately improve working from home in your organization.