How to Make Working Onsite Worthwhile to Encourage Collaboration

five person meeting

Thanks to technology, people can work from just about anywhere. For the most part, that’s a win-win for employees and companies alike. Productivity tends to increase, and employees appreciate the ability to balance work with life. But there are legitimate reasons for encouraging employees to work onsite. For example, people collaborate better when they can meet face-to-face when inspiration strikes. The problem then becomes how do you encourage people to come onsite while still promoting work-life balance?   

In many industries, collaboration has become a competitive advantage. By coming together and sharing their limited view of the market, customers, and the company, employees can achieve a greater perspective that can lead to creative thinking and innovation. Working together, employees can come up with more efficient processes, new revenue streams, and product improvements that add to the bottom line.  

Collaboration works best when it happens organically — when employees can meet ad hoc to discuss whatever idea has suddenly come to mind or new data has come to light. This is difficult to do when employees work remotely. Instead of stopping by a co-worker’s desk on the way to get a coffee refill, employees have to send an email or pick up the phone to collaborate. These hurdles may prevent employees from collaborating altogether or delay the opportunity (I’ll just bring it up during the next meeting) until the spark of inspiration has fizzled out. Collaboration needs to be frictionless, and that means having employees onsite as much as possible.

Of course, employees don’t want to be onsite. They want to take advantage of flexible work schedules and remote work policies so that they can better balance work and life demands. What they don’t realize – and neither do many companies – is that work-life balance can be achieved without even leaving the office parking lot.

By providing onsite services, companies can give employees access to the services that would normally take them away from work and eat into their personal time. Onsite services can range from salon services to automotive refueling to fitness classes to dry cleaning. Instead of driving to and from the car mechanic’s, for example, and working from the lobby on a public network while the oil is changed in their car, employees can get that same service while they work in the office—on a private network and within arm’s reach of their colleagues. Instead of saying, “I’m going to work from home so that I can take a yoga class at lunch,” they’ll be saying, “I’m going to work from the office so that I can take a yoga class at lunch.”   

As a job perk, onsite services may not convey the same care-free, play-time feeling as say a foosball table or indoor playground, but neither do those things enable a better work-life balance—and that’s what employees really want. If you can give employees what they really want, like the ability to get chores and errands done while working in the office, they’ll be happier and more productive. They’ll also be more likely to collaborate when the opportunity arises.

Learn more at love.espresa.com

Computerworld's IT Salary Survey 2017 results
Shop Tech Products at Amazon