Recently The New York Times published an article looking at the new work-from-home paradigm, “Creating Culture in a W.F.H. World: How 3 Small Businesses Did It” by Amy Haimerl. The article took an in-depth look at the shift in working remotely in the post COVID-19 workforce, and how it impacted three distinct small businesses in three divergent markets.
The Siete Family Foods, Skydio, and of course, Cortex.
The highlights of the article speak of retaining employees in a tight labor market, how culture and values that were once key in an office environment need to be adapted to work in a remote workforce and highlighted how three distinct companies tackled the transition to work-from-home.
Of course, Cortex has been a pioneer in the healthcare industry by providing a work-from-home model for registered nurses with our CheckUp Calls. It was an easy and seamless transition to a virtual office environment when the pandemic forced a prolonged period of shut-down of our Lehi, UT office. Some of the lessons we learned during the transition to a fully remote office can also be applied to a post-acute organization.
Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Even before the transition to the work-from-home model, communication was key to a healthy working environment. It is no surprise that using the latest communication tools and apps available to businesses makes the transition possible and smooth.
“Teams use the messaging platform Slack to communicate swiftly, and Cortex staffs its channels around the clock so a manager is always available to answer nurses’ urgent questions. The company developed survey systems and community management tools to find out what teams need in real-time.”
In a fast-paced, and sometimes chaotic environment like a post-acute care organization, having a business messaging app that allows instant communication onsite can relieve some of the frustrations between departments and teams.
Work-from-Home doesn’t mean a decrease in productivity.
“‘Covid completely changed our mindset,’ Josh Albrechtsen, our President and Co-founder said. ‘Our staff was quite a bit more productive from home.’”
With potentially fewer distractions, less stress, a shorter commute, and without the constant interruptions of business chatter, working remotely can actually increase work productivity by a lot. Of course, key positions like nursing and management must be present in a post-acute environment, but it’s worth experimenting with different working hours, and allow administrative tasks that can be completed off-site to be scheduled at home in a flexible schedule.
Offload and delegate tasks to third party vendors
The key takeaway from the article is that the right partner vendor to handle specific expertise makes all the difference, not just in a work-from-home transition.
“Hiring Gusto freed Mr. Albrechtsen to focus on the Cortex culture, which he defines as kindness; clear, consistent communication; and an ‘efficiency mind-set.’ He quickly decentralized authority, hiring a full-time employee to oversee the nurses. That person quickly identified other leaders and empowered them to make decisions.”
Just as Josh identified Gusto as the best partner to handle some payroll, onboarding, and benefits responsibilities, as post-acute operators yourself, you must also review your operation and find tasks and processes that can benefit from third-party vendor help.
Tasks like follow-up calls are well suited to be made by a qualified partner with experience making millions of CheckUp calls for post-acute providers.