Work From Home Or Back To The Office: Do You Know Everyone's Ideal Workplace?

FOCUS: Manage Your People
COVID-19 has provided us with many challenges, both personally and professionally; and yet, it is also providing us with many windows of opportunity, again both personally and professionally.

To ensure we remain safe, the majority of us have changed our workplace from the office which we drove to every day to an office space which we can walk to in less than 10 seconds.

And with this change, we are gaining many benefits including less time commuting and more time with our family, cooking meals and exercising.

So when we're allowed to re-open for business and return to our workplaces, will this mean everyone will automatically do this or will most people prefer to remain working from home?

I think this is a fantastic opportunity to find out the ideal workplace for each and every one of your team members (including yourself) so when your RTO re-opens, you can be confident everyone is working in their productivity sweet spot.

Now for some people within your team, due to the tasks they perform, it may not be viable for them to continue working from home. You would've proven this through how you and they have admirably 'managed' their workload. They may also prefer the company of colleagues rather than the solitude of their home.

With this in mind and rather than making the assumption everyone WANTS to return to the office, here's the 5 questions I would be asking every staff member to ensure your RTO re-opens for business with a highly productive AND happy RTO team.

QUESTION 1: What's been the BEST thing about working from home?

Without prejudicing the answers, I believe the responses will include:

• I'm more focused and getting through tasks quickly because I'm not being constantly interrupted
• I'm able to work at times when I'm most alert eg before 9am (Early Birds) and after 5pm (Night Owls)
• I'm able to exercise every day
• I'm able to spend more time with my family rather than losing hours commuting to work
• I don't feel so overwhelmed
• I'm surprised at how much I'm able to get done at home
• I feel more connected to my team than ever before
• I feel more supported than ever before
• It is great actually catching up regularly because in the past, staff meetings were always getting postponed

QUESTION 2: What's been the most CHALLENGING thing about working from home?

Without prejudicing the answers, I believe the responses will include:

• I'm not able to switch off because work is more easily accessible
• It's been hard finding enough time to get through my tasks, due to family interruptions
• I don't have a dedicated workspace
• My internet plan limits my ability to do my work
• I can't establish a routine
• There are too many Zoom meetings
• I'm constantly on the phone and in virtual meetings

QUESTION 3: What specific tasks have you been able to complete MORE EASILY because you're working from home?

This question is critical because unfortunately many RTO CEOs/RTO Managers THINK they know what every staff member does. But the truth is, depending on whether they've done the role before eg Trainer, Admin, and how long ago that was; in my experience, there is often a difference between what an RTO CEO/RTO Manager THINKS everyone in their team does compared to what they ACTUALLY do in their role.

QUESTION 4: What specific tasks HAVEN'T you been able to complete more easily because you're working from home?

And of course, you need to ask the reverse question for the same reasons. It's important to get the FACTS on the Good, Bad and Ugly of working from home.

QUESTION 5: If the choice was yours, would you PREFER to keep working from home or come back to the workplace?

This then needs to be followed up with WHY and What do you need from the RTO to make that happen?
What's Next?
Are you keen (and maybe brave enough) to ask these questions of everyone in your team including yourself?

Moving forward, are you willing to look at different ways of achieving high productivity, performance and profitability in your RTO? Or will your RTO leadership be dogmatic and force people back to the workplace; even if they were happier, healthier and more productive at home?

Will the current alternative working arrangements become the 'norm' for you and your RTO team?

If less team members will be returning to the workplace, should you then review your premises to see if it still meets your business need? Maybe moving to smaller premises would suit your team and your bottom line, though I would expect social distancing restrictions within office spaces will be with us for a while yet.

So now is the time to develop your RTO's Return To Work Strategy and I hope I've provided you with the first few bricks to get you started.

And here's my final thought

First and foremost, any Return To Work Strategy has to be financially viable for the business, and not just to meet the wishes of your team.

But I hope there's enough opportunity for some compromise so everyone in your team (including yourself) can return to work happier, re-energised and ready to get your RTO flourishing again.

P.S. Please keep scrolling to find out about my special coaching offer.

Stay safe and connected

Dedicated to making your life easier


Until 30 June 2020,
I'm offering my 90 Minute 'Magic Wand' Coaching Sessions at a very special price.

Many RTO CEOS and RTO Managers have asked me for a Zoom Coaching Package where I can help their teams review, develop, simplify and implement their policies and procedures.

So I've developed a new 30 Day 'Build Your Bricks' Coaching Package, all done on Zoom, with a special price until 30 June 2020.

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Author: Tamara Simon
Tamara Simon is Australia's Only Dedicated RTO Business Coach.

For over twenty years, she's been providing overwhelmed RTO Owners, CEOs and Managers with CLARITY about what's WRONG, what's POSSIBLE and what's NEXT so they can grow a simple profitable business.

You can find out more about Tamara Simon and her Coach In Your Corner RTO Membership Program here:
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