7 best practices for managing flex and remote offices as an Office Manager

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2023
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7 best practices for managing flex and remote offices as an Office Manager
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You may have seen this rzilient news on LinkedIn: our team had the pleasure of taking part in the 7th edition of the Office Managers Professional Summit! 🎉

What great encounters, and rich, friendly exchanges! Our participation was also an opportunity for us to share new practices, useful for the day-to-day organization of an Office Manager. And that's not all: we organized a workshop on the theme of optimizing the employee experience! 👏

Three top Office Managers!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our three speakers at this workshop, all exceptional Office Managers:

They played the game brilliantly, shared their expertise and engaged workshop participants in some great interactions!

Laura, Myriam and Clémence work for companies in very different contexts.

Playplay is a simple, intuitive video creation software that enables communications, HR and Office Managers teams to create impactful content! 📹 The 230-employee company is present in France, the United States and Germany. 40 of its employees in France work on a full-remote basis. Playplay has adopted a controlled telecommuting policy: employees who are not on full-remote must work at least 2 days a week in the office.

At Worldia, a new-generation connected tourism operator, Clémence explains that the organization is both hybrid and managed. The technical teams, for example, work completely from home. ✈️

At France Digitale (the largest community of startups and investors in France), we learn from Clémence that a maximum of 3 remote days per week are allowed. Given the specific activity of France Digitale, which organizes large-scale events, an additional rule exists: the entire team must work 100% face-to-face 2 weeks in advance of each major event! 💻

Our three speakers shared their day-to-day experiences as Office Managers and the best practices to adopt in this profession. Laura and Myriam also gave feedback on their use of the rzilient platform to manage their IT assets. rzilient helps them enormously in managing their remote and flex office organization, and saves them a lot of time!

We'd like to take this opportunity to remind you of two key figures that underline the importance of teleworking in France today:

  • 47% of companies use teleworking;
  • and 60% of employees approve of remote working.

Here's a look back at the 7 best practices presented at the workshop!

Best practice no. 1: choose your work organization carefully

The first step to boosting the employee experience in your company: choosing the most suitable organization mode. 💼

Today, there are 4 main ways of organizing work:

  • 100% office ;
  • 100% remote ;
  • flex framed (number of imposed teleworking days) ;
  • free flex (everyone does as they please!).

Our speakers emphasize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. On the contrary, the choice of work organization depends on many factors. 🎛️

To choose the best solution for your company, you'll need to consider the expectations and rights of teleworking employees, then define and communicate precise rules.

Best practice no. 2: carefully select your everyday tools

Our speakers all agree that it's important to impose the tools chosen and avoid multiplying them. Without a minimum framework, the risk is that each employee will install his or her favorite tools on his or her own computer, and your company's software pool will become unmanageable! 💥

You also need to ensure that your employees have the tools they need to feel connected to their team, and that they can collaborate effectively. 📳

Certain iT tools are crucial to helping Office Managers achieve good work management:

  • an IT asset management platform like rzilient ;
  • an HRIS ;
  • and a collaborative workspace (Notion or Slack).

On the technical side, there are a number of less visible applications that are essential to keep things running smoothly. These include a VPN and tools for securing workstations.

Myriam, at Worldia, appreciates Notion and Laura from Playplay uses the Offishall tool (workspace management in hybrid mode), which is useful for :

  • inform employees of where they are working each week (at home, in remote locations, at a customer site, on vacation, etc.): everyone knows easily where his or her team is;
  • reserve an office when you come to work on your company's premises.

For France Digitale, Clémence points out that the whole team works on Google Drive, which enables files to be shared permanently and instantaneously. 👏 Slack reinforces the communication tools set-up, and urgency levels have been set up, to prioritize the appropriate channel to get a response quickly. Clémence also alerts us to the importance of having a good visio system, failing which frustrations and wasted time can arise! ⏲️

This diagram summarizes the main software building blocks for a company operating in flex or remote mode:

Our advice: Google or Microsoft 364 for the work environment and Slack for your team's communication.

Best practice no. 3: make the employee experience positive

How to ensure employee well-being? Many factors are essential to a positive employee experience, not least good internal communication.

To achieve this, you need to :

  • schedule regular meetings (a factor in team cohesion);
  • and also that you encourage informal communication, which prevents your employees from becoming isolated. 🥂

Playplay offers a comprehensive range of services:

  • employees have one-to-one discussions with their manager at least once a week ;
  • two weekly team "stand-up" meetings are organized, as well as "deep dive" points to dive into project details;
  • Monthly progress meetings are also planned. 🗓️

Myriam shares some of the tools deployed at Worldia. Satisfaction surveys are systematically submitted to new arrivals, following their onboarding. And with the Lucca tool, the mood of the day can be easily shared by employees, to take the pulse of the team. Weekly and annual interviews complete the range of tools available to maintain the bond.

Best practice no. 4: take care of your onboarding process

Our speakers also emphasize the crucial aspect of onboarding. It's vital that new employees feel at ease as soon as they arrive, that they understand what's at stake and their mission, so that they can be effective as quickly as possible.

And as you probably know, managing the onboarding of a remote person is all the more important because of the distance, but also more complex. 🙇

Clémence tells us about the two main stages at France Digitale:

  • A Notion link is sent to each new employee before he or she arrives, setting out the rules for teleworking;
  • Insurance documents and a letter attesting to your willingness to telework are requested as soon as possible.

Myriam, at Worldia, uses the rzilient IT asset management platform systematically during her onboardings to :

  • check and order computer equipment;
  • create the necessary accesses and passwords ;
  • register iT hardware and software used ;
  • send iT equipment to the new arrival;
  • send out invitations to onboarding meetings.

Best practice no. 5: Delegate the management of your IT assets

MDM solutions do wonders for your organization, and make your life as an Office Manager a whole lot easier!

They allow you to remotely control your team's computers, in order to :

  • install (or uninstall) applications remotely ;
  • launch updates ;
  • ensure that each computer is suitable and ready to use.

By way of example, Playplay enjoyed a period of strong growth in 2021. 📈

About twenty new employees arrived every month, often at the last minute!

All this activity generated stress and disorganization. 😔

Laura found it very difficult to manage everything, especially Playplay's computer inventory. To make matters worse, the company has no IT manager and Laura has no IT background. Setting up the rzilient platform was a real relief for her. 👍 Laura now only needs a few minutes to carry out her onboardings, and can see the status of her IT assets at a glance!

Best practice no. 6: boost your corporate culture

When working flexibly or remotely, corporate culture is a powerful lever for maintaining cohesion and motivation in your teams. 🎊

To reinforce your company's culture, our speakers have a few tips for you!

Worldia organizes numerous events:

  • blind tests and other games ;
  • team lunches with the opportunity to discover the specialities of a different country on each occasion;
  • a summer party and an end-of-year event. 🎄

On the Playplay side, Laura organizes mini-team-building activities at least once a month: a Kahoot quiz or a Blind Test on "What the Tune?". 🎤

It has also set up a virtual photobooth. Employees can take photos of themselves, whether in the office or alone at home with their cat or dog! The whole team can then consult the photos, interact, comment and create links, all in color and in a very fun way! 📸

Best practice no. 7: Don't neglect offboarding!

The departure of an employee, otherwise known as offboarding, is a key moment that needs to be treated with seriousness and organization.

If not, you risk :

  • pay for software licenses unnecessarily 💶
  • not finding the computers of departing employees 💻
  • deal with fraudulent use of your company's data. 🪕

The rzilient platform is an invaluable aid. Every time an employee :

  • licenses cancel automatically ;
  • rzilient manages and organizes the reception of equipment;
  • computers can be reset remotely.

Laura explains how Playplay works when an employee leaves, using the rzilient platform. She explains:

  1. will send him a dispatch note with instructions on how to return his computer;
  2. sends him instructions on how to disconnect his iCloud account;
  3. performs the reset on rzilient, when it receives the employee's computer;
  4. and finally, it assigns the computer to stock, in anticipation of its use for future onboarding!
Written by

Audrey Pogu

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