Before the pandemic, people defined a great work environment much differently than they would now. Back then, an office with a ping-pong table, great co-workers, and a cool manager was really what most people wanted. Bonus if the Christmas party was a blast and the pay was great.
Now, in the (almost) post-pandemic era, the idea of what potential employees are looking for has changed drastically, especially when that in-office ping-pong table has been traded for a home office stipend and a state of the art standing desk.
Suddenly, creative departments everywhere were forced to either disband entirely or embrace the remote model, even if it meant that creative directors had to send Looms and Slacks instead of just walking to your desk and giving you feedback.
With so many creative departments going remote, and employee expectations shifting so rapidly, the real question becomes, what makes a great remote workplace?
Let’s build the anatomy of an awesome virtual office, and why it works.
Collaborative tech stack
Like any effective anatomy class, let’s start with the bones of building a five-star virtual team; your tech stack. Why is your tech stack the bones of creating a great remote workplace? Because the right technology can make your business accessible and collaborative for both clients and employees.
To be clear, we’re not talking about remote monitoring tools that make your employees feel like Big Brother is watching them. We’re talking about tools that go beyond just Zoom and Slack. Tools like miro, the Google Suite, and Loom.
Depending on the type of business that you are in, your tech stack will vary. One thing to keep in mind when mapping this is asking yourself “What tools will make the lives of my employees and clients easier?”
There’s a new generation entering the workforce, and they think the traditional 9-5 is outdated. Honestly, in a work-from-home environment, your team should be allowed to work in the way that works best for them as individuals.
Think about it: Wes is a night owl who does his most productive and creative work between the hours of five and ten. Kat is an early morning person who does her best work between the hours of six in the morning and nine. Why would we try to force Wes and Kat to work hours that are unproductive for them?
As long as the work that they are doing is good quality and their deadlines are being met, does it really matter what time of day they did it, or how many hours it took to get there?
The only thing that should matter is whether or not Wes is getting his graphic design work done, not what time his Slack lights up green.
Micromanaging is so 1995
In a GoodHire survey, 82% of American workers said that they would consider quitting their job because of a bad manager. Before the pandemic, micromanaging was almost a normal part of working a typical corporate job, and people just kind of–well, dealt with it.
Now, in 2022, post-Great Resignation, employees are no longer willing to put up with Becky and Joe blowing up their phones before the workday to see what they are doing. People are no longer willing to accept being Slacked every hour to divulge every detail of the last sixty minutes because Joe has nothing better to do than bother you!
Employees want to feel respected and appreciated, and one major way to do that is by trusting them to do the job that you hired them to do. This is the heart of creating a great remote work environment. Letting go of outdated management strategies and embracing the 21st-century.
Oh yeah, did we mention that it will help you attract and retain great talent?
Creativity, adaptability, and the flexibility to change.
Say it with me: employees want a collaborative, flexible, and enriching remote work environment.
We could give you all of the tips in the world (we’ve been a successful virtual community since 2015), but at the end of the day, it’s up to you to make the changes that need to be made in order to keep your remote team happy.
Let Annie pick up her kid from school on time, let Jason go for his midday run, and let Wes sleep in a little. Give them the tools they need to collaborate, and finally, be a good boss by letting them work the way that they want to.
Just remember, a great remote work environment starts with you. What tips do you have for companies that are adopting a remote working environment?
Want to work for a great virtual creative team? We’re hiring! Check out our careers page to apply.