17 remote working solutions to help your teams thrive - Part 3
We’ve heard from many leaders who now realize that remote working – when implemented well – is a viable arrangement for their organizations. They’ve also been reassured that the vast majority of their employees are highly adaptable and trustworthy.
In addition, this situation has drawn attention to the importance of a strong workplace culture, authentic and empathetic communication, as well as trusting and supportive in-person relationships. Many of us were also confronted with the fragile nature of mental health, and that we need to address this issue intelligently and without delay, on both individual and organizational levels.
Team members’ routines and expectations have shifted. They were granted trust along with other benefits associated with remote working, and most won’t be happy to give it all up, even when it becomes safe to return to the office.
It's the people who are driving long-term changes, not the disease
Many companies are currently in the planning phase of bringing their people back to the office. In others, the process has already begun. However, with all the new experiences and learnings, work is inevitably changing, along with the role and function of the physical workplace. This is also the case in organizations that have already adopted remote working solutions, to some extent, before the pandemic.
According to recent surveys, the vast majority of employees would like to be able to work from home at least one or two days a week. If this is a reflection of the future (and hopefully it is), remote working solutions will need to be deeply embedded in the ways organizations operate. The ‘typical employee’ will soon be a part-time remote worker.
Leaders and managers therefore need to reassess how they can manage and support their people wherever they work. However, it would be a mistake to throw away all the learnings from the evolution of the workplace or jump to conclusions about future strategies. There are no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions for remote working. Leaders and teams need to develop their own unique remote working practices that strengthen and support the workplace culture, operations, and the purpose of the business.
Focusing on burning questions
Questions that are worth asking after the lockdown, to better manage work
Provide assistance and training to remote members for setting up their home offices. Home-based workers often experience discomfort and health issues that stem from having a poorly set-up work area, using low quality furniture, or working in places they shouldn’t. Bad posture can also directly impact their mood and performance. Give them the same level of support as your office-based members; they will be able to perform better and will also feel equal to their peers. Remote workers with a dedicated, comfortable and functional home office also tend to feel more satisfied with their jobs, and are better able to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
The way forward
Recognize where change is needed
In fact, it’s worthwhile to regularly check how things work and make improvements as needed. This is an ongoing journey. But please keep a level-headed approach, and don’t create change for the sake of change.
Certain aspects of work tend to shift quite rapidly, including technology, societal and industry influences, as well as people’s desires and expectations. Work tasks and activities may also change relatively quickly, along with management strategies, and the role of the physical workplace. Other factors are more steady, including your company values and purpose, your employees’ roles in the business, and the nature of human psychology (e.g. our innate desire for face-to-face contact, spontaneous interactions and social experiences).
Once you see the whole picture, you are in the right place to make excellent decisions about the future of your business. Remember, smart investments in remote working solutions, and subsequently in your culture, work practices and office space, will keep paying off well after the crisis. They will enable your teams and partners to effectively respond to new opportunities and challenges, contributing to the best of their ability while enjoying a positive and rewarding experience.
Fast changing factors
More steady factors
Work tasks and activities