Boosting team productivity when accounting firms adopt hybrid working

January 17th 2023 | Posted by Phil Scott

Hybrid working seems set to become the norm for many accounting firms. With this in mind, it’s essential for every member of the team to be placed on an even footing no matter where they choose to work.

It’s also vital for communication and collaboration methods to be agreed and adhered to. Paying careful attention to these factors enables team productivity to be boosted as hybrid working becomes the norm.

Facilitating effective team collaboration as level of hybrid working increases

With hybrid working in place, establishing methods of team collaboration is more important than ever. Ensuring that everyone participates fully and engages removes the concept of “second class citizens” in relation to people working from home.

Having an agreed collaborative structure for an accounting firm means that no-one has a poorer experience if they choose hybrid working. It also means that clients have the same experience no matter which member of the team they work with.

For example, if individuals working in the office full time are favoured in terms of projects, this could lead to the firm and its clients losing out on the experience and skills of those who spend time working remotely.

It’s also important to recognise that a lack of collaborative mindset causes unrest and can be damaging to the overall performance of the firm.

Defining a common purpose

In order to be truly collaborative, each member of the team has to understand, and be on board with, the common purpose of the firm. In order for this to happen, goals and team working objectives have to be clarified on an ongoing basis.

Of course, communication plays a central role in this clarification. Each member of the team must have an understanding of how ideas and thoughts are to be communicated and how challenges are to be made and support is to be offered.

This understanding is often acquired by having an agreed set of rules including:

  • Methods of communication
  • Frequency of communication
  • How feedback will be given and received
  • How the effectiveness of communication will be measured and improved.

This communication charter has to be reviewed and updated on a regular basis in order to remain effective. Findings and lessons learned should be integrated into the charter as time progresses and communication systems and methods improve.

It’s clear that hybrid working presents challenges when it comes to ensuring that all members of the team remain motivated and feel involved wherever they choose to work. However, these challenges can be overcome by ensuring that everyone is on the same page and successful communication and collaboration are in place.

Achieving all of this is integral to boosting team productivity when accounting firms adopt a hybrid working approach. Given that this approach is likely to be prominent going forward, this type of productivity boost could be the difference between a firm succeeding or failing in a what is a competitive environment.

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