Remote work is having a daily impact in helping manage the coronavirus. In order to implement a strict social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, remote working has increased. Whenever the work’s nature makes it possible, most companies have asked their employees to work from home.
Remote working is a business transformation that works on multiple levels.
- It serves the needs of individual employees
- It provides businesses with adaptive ways to engage with their ecosystem and deliver economic value
- And currently, it’s helping businesses addressing public health needs
The work-from-home concept has been embraced as foundational for improving the state of the world. Yet while the concept is widely supported, many questions on how leaders will implement the required transition strategies within their organisations have arised. The purpose of any company is now, more than ever, to engage all its stakeholders (employees, customers, suppliers, local communities and society at large) in a shared and sustained value creation for the business.
Up to date, the work-from-home concept represented a flexible and efficient modality of work chosen by the most modern and innovative companies, but due to this epidemic, working from home has become a global imperative. The COVID19 health emergency is redefining remote work.
Technology makes working from home possible. Solutions like TransparentBusiness, in between many others business tools, allow business managers to coordinate and manage their teams effectively, preventing contagion and minimising the impact of the pandemic on the world economy. Also, remote working allows companies to save in infrastructure and involves less impact on the environment and less travel time for employees. Still, many CEOs are concerned about the impact that prevention measures will have on the productivity of their companies.
How to go through the transition to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic
Here are some insights on how leaders can make the most of remote working:
Embrace organisational transitions
In essence, a radical shift to remote working requires business leaders to commit to organisational change management, re-thinking the future of their organisation and how employees can work and collaborate.
It requires identifying what assets are critical and what are contextual and preparing for a variety of scenarios in order to move as quickly as possible in an agile and adaptive manner.
Remote working requires clarity and decisiveness from the senior levels of an institution.
Beyond making clear and decisive technology decisions, it’s also mandatory on leaders to communicate all relevant decisions to the organization with concise and consistent messaging. An open and frequent communication is key for setting expectations on how groups will collaborate and come together.
Transition to digital involves more than using technology
Working in digital spaces involves muchtmore than applying digital tools and technology, it also requires thinking about new behaviours and making sure everyone has the ability to use tech tools seamlessly.
It also involves deciding who makes the decisions about digital technology: the CEO, the CIO or the IT team?
Going digital may also require free training resources on cloud computing tools with employees as they transition to working remotely.
What holds a virtual workplace together is the trust, patience and support employees have for one another. Providing access to online tools and collaboration platforms is only half of the equation. Trust, accountability and results, whether individuals work in the office or not, is one of the most important ingredients.
For Business Managers, this requires a renewed commitment to actively listening. In order to create a collaborative, open and inclusive virtual work environment requires everyone, specially leaders, to listen to their colleagues.
Encourage everyone in the company to engage
At the individual level is arguably where the most important changes can occur. Reducing the isolation of working remotely takes commitment from individuals at all levels of the organisation.
In this exceptional situation employees and business leaders need to embrace video cameras. Understanding how to visually project yourself as a positive, engaging and trusted leader is mandatory.
Learn to shape the future of your work
Embracing remote work is one of the most impactful thing employers and business leaders can do today to address the increasing complexity of the current public health and economic crisis.
As companies navigate their approach to remote working, it’s important to consider the learning along the way.
Together we need to find ways to make the most out of virtual work, going through disruptions such as coronavirus while remaining focused on the longer term.
Corporate leaders, managers, and individual workers need to make this transition happen.
Remote work is our new reality. Are organisations ready for this?
Both large and SMEs companies are facing many challenges in what comes to the workplace. The challenges, moreover, are not only technological, but also cultural, because it involves a change in habits that can also last over time.
Unfortunately in many companies, there is a lack of trust and confidence in the work from home idea. Some business owners are suspicious of those who work outside the office, and there are still many managers that associate productivity with being present at work.
This lack of trust and confidence will need to be resolved. Business owners need to stop believing that being physically in the office guarantees productivity.
Both the company and the employee will need to cooperate. The worker needs to be disciplined and responsible to complete all tasks in a timely manner, and the company must trust its collaborators.