Are we still enjoying remote working? Time to review



Author: GMN Associate Lorraine Wrafter

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

  • Can teams/departments work remotely full time

  • A mix of remote and office work

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:

Positives

  • 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 at other locations/countries away from the majority of the team

Negatives

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. Equipment, insurance, hot office space etc

  • Ground rules - 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 - 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 to talk to The Grey Matters Network to find out how we can help, please CLICK HERE


Support this article on LinkedIn here