AGM online meeting over zoom

Ditching the office

As COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease in Australia and NZ, thoughts naturally turn to the next phase.  For associations, there has never been a better time to take stock of what’s important, do some critical and creative thinking and forge a new plan for success. For most associations and the people who run them, we get up in the morning so that we can support and add value to the members.  At onsomble, we consistently seek opportunities to bring operational efficiencies to our clients, and in turn, deliver more to members.

Do you really need an office?

Does the existence of your office bring benefit to your members.  For larger teams, or for those in a creative environment, maybe the answer is yes.  But for others, the existence of an office may represent a huge opportunity cost.

The onsomble senior leader working with one client in particular undertook an assessment of the value of and requirement for their physical office.  With a small team of four (some part-time), in an office with a boardroom and kitchenette, this association was incurring office-related costs upwards of $60k p/annum.  In a normal year this would simply be accepted.  But with the team having worked remotely since March, and the office laying empty, attention turned to ‘what if’.  Of course, this isn’t just a financial decision; equally important is the maintenance – or improvement – of delivery to members.

Benefits of a remote team

For our client, the first thing that came to light in remote working, was the increased productivity of the team.  With team members each working from home, and a solid structure in place for moments of collaboration and connection, everyone simply got on with the job.

A further benefit appeared quickly, in the form of clear space for blue-sky thinking.  The team was able to collaborate openly, away from the daily minutiae.  Working remotely, our client’s team was able to ‘chat’ in smaller groupings related to specific tasks.  The whole team didn’t break its flow as a result of the conversation of two team members.

The team was able to work flexibly, allowing for greater satisfaction as work and life fell into a new and improved balance.  Contrary to the view held by some that work-from-home equals have a bludge, we found that the contribution of both time and productivity increased as people were allowed the flexibility to manage their personal and work commitments.

The importance of systems

Working remotely requires the use of a few good systems.  For our case-study client, these are hinged upon Microsoft Office 365, including:

  • Teams — for collaboration, ‘chat’ as a group or individually, and video calls.
  • To Do — for a super simple way of keeping track of actions
  • SharePoint — for collaboratively sharing files
  • OneNote — for meeting notes, which can be shared within the team
  • Zoom — for meetings with external stakeholders
  • Zoom phone or Spoke phone — for VOIP phone call handling

Considerations in remote working

Remote working isn’t for everyone.  Before embarking down this path, there are a number of considerations to be made including: WHS management; staff contracts; team connectivity and morale; budget; and ad-hoc requirement for meeting spaces.

Implementing change

In implementing this change for our client, we put in the leg-work up front to ensure we checked their constitution, employment contracts and budget impacts.  We then put to the Board a proposal for change, including a timeline and proposed new budget.

Conclusion

In implementing this change for our client, we put in the leg-work up front to ensure we checked their constitution, employment contracts and budget impacts.  We then put to the Board a proposal for change, including a timeline and proposed new budget.

How can we help you?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Subscribe to freedom

Join our newsletter and discover what freedom feels like.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.