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Remote Workplace – How to Make the Best of It!

By August 3, 2020No Comments

Has your business been changed in 2020?

Most businesses have seen some major changes whether planned or unplanned, proactive or reactive, desired or by force. One of the biggest changes many businesses have made is far more remote employees, workspaces, meeting, etc.

For example, surveys show:
    • 33% of workers surveyed had never worked remotely prior to COVID-19
    • 49% did not regularly take part in virtual meetings before COVID-19
So, what can your business do to manage these changes?

Here are some suggestions to consider:

    1. Successful remote work requires strong communication and collaboration. Scheduling regular virtual meetings are a must. Schedule daily team standups, weekly team meetings, weekly manager/employee 1-on-1s, and monthly professional development discussions. If tone can be misunderstood via email or text, hop on the phone for a quick 15-minute call. But, also consider implementing no meeting blocks so everyone has a chance to unplug and re-energize.
      1. 40% are content to work remotely full-time on a permanent basis
      2. Nearly 77% of respondents would like to work remotely either full-time or part-time on a permanent basis after the crisis is over
      3. Only 9% do not want to work remotely full-time after the crisis ends
    2. The majority of people feel positive about working remotely. If you’ll be allowing your employees to work from home after social distancing restrictions lift, make sure it continues to be a positive experience. Share remote work tips, schedule regular remote team building activities, and keep a pulse on engagement.
      1. 32% are working more hours remotely than they did in the office
      2. 39% are spending about the same amount of time working each day
      3. Only 19% are working fewer hours
    3. Work/life balance can blur when working remotely. There is a misconception that remote employees are more interested in watching TV than working. However, that is not shown to be the reality. Be positive toward your workforce. Remind your remote employees their health and families come first. We can’t have the same expectations we did before. Let them know it’s OK to do less than usual right now. They’ll repay your empathy with loyalty.
    4. Most people feel less confident in their company’s strategy now than they did before. Some of that is because companies had to pivot and couldn’t explain changes in person. In times of change—especially in a fully remote workplace—frequent, transparent communication is critical. Executives should give status updates and answer questions weekly.
      1. 41% of are finding fewer opportunities to collaborate since working remotely
      2. Workers express decreased confidence in personal work decisions
      3. Only ½ of respondents feel their employer provides sufficient opportunities for recognition
    5. Teams are collaborating less. Collaboration can be difficult when there are lots of one-off, disconnected messages going around. Collaboration is essential to success—and it’s your job as a leader to ensure it happens no matter where your people are located. Adopt a virtual collaboration tool like Google Docs, Miro, or Figma and schedule cross-functional initiatives.
    6. More social people in particular express that remote work has made them feel less confident that they’re taking the right actions. Maybe because there are fewer opportunities to talk things out at in-person meetings and hallway conversations. There is less eye contact and body language for them to read for clarification and reassurance. Leaders need to carve out time to chat on the phone on a regular basis—in addition to brainstorming and working sessions. Let your people know clearly what you expect and need from them.
    7. Recognition builds confidence, but many companies aren’t doing enough to recognize good work when employees are working remotely while battling stress, fatigue, and uncertainty. Different people have different preferences, so be sure to recognize your employees in the way they prefer. This means understanding your people.

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