Zufriedene Mitarbeiter*innen im HomeOffice
Employee satisfaction and motivation are in focus
The Corona pandemic is turning our lives upside down and changing our working world. More and more people are working from home, and politicians are recommending that home offices be made possible wherever possible. Three years ago, only four per cent of employees worked in a home office; currently it is about 40 to 45 per cent. For the next three years, it is expected that about one in three will work in a home office. This is the result of the study “Flexible Work and Rewards Survey” by Willis Towers Watson. (cf. Willis Tower Watson, 2020)
What was previously a pipe dream for many has suddenly become reality. While many used to rave about the advantages (less time spent travelling from home to the office, better compatibility of work and family, more freedom in organising the day), the reality for many is not all rosy and we have to face new challenges. If the employees are no longer in the same office, many factors of employee motivation from the old world fall away. In the past, it counted in many places who had the biggest office, the fanciest company car, the freshest fruit, the newest foosball table. All that is no longer relevant. (cf. Rittershaus 2020) Now other factors count. We have to ask ourselves how we can make employees loyal, happy and motivated to work, even if they have little physical contact with the office.
We need to focus on the things that have always had the greatest influence on employee loyalty and motivation:
The right tasks
Real flexibility in the home office
and, of course, creating the technical prerequisites
(cf. Rittershaus 2020) However, the most important thing first is that the framework conditions are right.
Appreciation and respect for individual employees – our fundamental values at think tank – mean taking care of them in hard times and keeping an eye on the health of the respective employees. At the end of the lockdown, many employees come back from the home office. They worry whether they could become infected on the way to the workplace or in the office, putting colleagues at risk. Here, for us at think tank, the rule is: everyone only comes to the office if their personal situation allows it and they feel safe. (cf. t3n Digital Pioneers 2020)
Trust is the basis for successful collaboration in the HomeOffice. The mere presence of an employee has never been an indicator of performance. But this is only really noticeable in the home office. An employee in a home office works in a much more self-organised way and is responsible for his or her own actions. (cf. t3n Digital Pioneers 2020) We support this and provide a reliable start to the day, for example, with our shared daily. Through our trust-based working hours and work by objectives, we offer real flexibility in the home office.
The way of communication changes in the home office. The one-to-one communication falls away, talking across the desk no longer exists, you have to use a medium, such as MS Teams, to reach a colleague or collaborator. Enabling other types of communication is all the more important. More on this in our concrete tips, which we have been using successfully in our company since last year and are constantly developing:
Creating new frames: We go for walks together, take breaks together, Ice Breaker Dates and are open to other formats. Shared collaboration tools: We use MS Teams (formerly Skype), Jira and Confluence and Conceptboard. The combination of these tools is optimal for us to collaborate with as many senses as possible. Participation in webinars and training: This brings new momentum to the company, our employees train their own qualifications and can broaden their horizons. The newly acquired knowledge can then be shared with other colleagues in our knowledge transfers. And that in turn strengthens communication and exchange within the team. Hold joint events such as bi-weekly knowledge transfers: We meet every fortnight and share new methods and tools. Individual colleagues can pass on their knowledge, the rest of the team joins in the discussion and gives practical tips. (cf. Waser-Zeiss Nadine 2021, cf. Business Insider Germany 2020)
Daily Standup: we start our day every morning with a Daily Standup
1:1 Conversations: weekly or 2-weekly consultations with the manager take place.
Ice Breaker Dates: Every week, two people meet for a joint exchange – without a project, just a coffee talk.
Joint break times: Every fortnight we have a joint lunch break.
Working with OKR: We have created clear structures and orientation with OKR. It is not yet running optimally, but we want to show where we want to go and what each individual can contribute.
Joint successes: During Corona we worked together on the relaunch of our website and also strengthened teamwork in many client projects. We relied more on retrospectives to help us evolve.
- Creating new frames: We go for walks together, take breaks together, Ice Breaker Dates and are open to other formats.
- Shared collaboration tools: We use MS Teams (formerly Skype), Jira and Confluence and Conceptboard. The combination of these tools is optimal for us to collaborate with as many senses as possible.
- Participation in webinars and training: This brings new momentum to the company, our employees train their own qualifications and can broaden their horizons. The newly acquired knowledge can then be shared with other colleagues in our knowledge transfers. And that in turn strengthens communication and exchange within the team.
- Hold joint events such as bi-weekly knowledge transfers: We meet every fortnight and share new methods and tools. Individual colleagues can pass on their knowledge, the rest of the team joins in the discussion and gives practical tips. (cf. Waser-Zeiss Nadine 2021, cf. Business Insider Germany 2020)
After all the challenges, is working on site after Corona the way to go again? From our point of view, no. We will continue to work consistently for our employees after the pandemic and find the appropriate tasks to optimally promote and challenge them. After all, our employees are our most valuable asset. Only with motivated employees can we be successful as a company in the long term.
Sources: Business Insider Deutschland, 2020: Motivationslos durch Home Office auf Dauer
Rittershaus, Axel (2020): Mitarbeiterbindung im Home-Office https://www.targetter.de/mitarbeiterbindung-im-home-office/#:~:text=%20Mitarbeiterbindung%20im%20Home-Office%20%201%20Firmenwagen %20sch%C3%B6ne,Mitarbeiters, %20spannende%20Aufgaben%20werden%20noch%20wichtiger.%20More [21.03.2021]
t3n Digital Pioneers (2020): Führen im Homeoffice: Diese Expertin verrät größte Schwachstellen
Waser-Zeiss Nadine (2021): Hilfreiche Tipps fürs Hybrid-Office, wenn Gemeinschaft und Zusammenarbeit besonders im Fokus liegen https://www.teamecho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Tipps-Hybrid-Office-Collaborative.pdf [21.03.2021]
Willis Tower Watson, 2020: Flexible Work and Rewards Survey: 2021 Design and Budget Priorities