Most of us have been working remotely for over 3 months and are starting to go back to the office. Now, is a great time to review remote working.
Organisations need to decide:
- When to resume full time office work. Now, 3, 6 months…
- Can individuals work remotely full time after the crisis
- Can teams/departments work remotely full time after the crisis
- A mix of remote and office work in the future
What have been the unintended consequences (positive & negative) to remote working
As your teams return to work, it is a good time to ask:
- What worked well working remotely
- What didn’t work well
- What should be stopped, started and continue to do
- What have been the unintended consequences (positive & negative) to remote working
Some of the unintended consequences of remote working that I have heard from colleagues, clients and friends are:
- Getting to know your colleague’s family and pets, planned and unplanned!
- Mistakes are forgiven more as the ‘crisis’ encouraged people to innovative and take risks
- Level playing of team members, particularly those that are usually based at other locations/countries away from the majority of the team
Out of site out of mind
- No longer have a voice or a vote
- Miss out on coffee corner discussions and opportunities to give input
- Talent Management – forgotten for new projects or positions
Decision-making slowed down
- Lack of confidence to make the decision on their own. Lost opportunity to quickly pop over to a colleague/manager desk to get input.
- Hard to get hold of a person on email/phone. In the office you could walk over to their desk and get their attention
- No time to think at home. One video call after another, family commitments and distractions. Commuting gave time to think!
To have a sustainable remote working environment and effective remote teams the key points to consider are:
- Strategy – It impacts the whole business
- Costs and Flexibility – What are the costs such as equipment, insurance, hot office space etc
- Groundrules – How to work remotely
- Training – What knowledge and skills are needed to work remotely
- Maintain effective and productive teams – What will be different and what will stay the same
- Communications – When and how often will team members check in
- Managing performance – How and when will the team review business, team and individual goals
- Talent Management – Identification, development and succession planning of remote teams
- Workforce Planning – Opportunity to increase in part-time and shared jobs
- Reward – Reward and benefits need to be reviewed and adapted
- Maintain Culture – How will the culture and brand be maintained and thrive with remote working and virtual teams
- Well-being – How to manage employee welfare to avoid feeling lonely and isolated
If you would like help on remote working contact The Grey Matters Network.