Guidelines: What to consider before embracing a remote-work culture

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Guidelines: What to consider before embracing a remote-work culture

Work-culture within the corporate industry is changing daily due to globalisation and technology. The revolution of remote-work seems unstoppable and each year more people enjoy the benefits of flexible work. Hence, we see in many instances, employers and managers in fear of adopting a remote-work “culture”. They worry about remote work for a number of reasons including how teams will be managed. They worry more about losing out on core company values, culture and productivity. Therefore, without compromising productivity, businesses are pressured to support the modern ways of work.

 

Below is a guide on what managers and employers can consider before embracing a remote-work culture:

  1. Understand the value of remote-work

The lives of many people has changed in over a span of just a few months due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Many organisations are in panic and are forced to adjust to remote-work practices that enable employees to set-up “office” in their dining rooms and bedrooms. Maximising productivity while working from home could seem redundant because of the need to juggle work tasks and care-taking responsibilities. However, being empowered to manage personal and work time is important. It is important that managers and employers create company values that boost the existing corporate culture. If done right, companies are sure to prove the value and increased productivity achieved through working remotely.

 

  1. Create processes that support the company’s “remote-work” policy

For remote-work to be successful, it is important that organisations adapt to structures and policies that govern remote-work. For example, organisations are tasked with a responsibility to ensure that employees are able to clock-in remotely, update time sheets and submit expense claims without hassle. Employees are bound to know what is expected of them when clear remote work policies are put in place. Clearly outlined KPI’s (Key Performance Areas), and a strengthened cyber security system are enablers of effective remote work. Hence, the correct use of technology has a positive impact on the success of remote-work. Technology can influence remote-work positively if used correctly. A high speed internet connection is the biggest enabler of remote-work which will then allow employees to work from anywhere, anytime. Therefore, it is the sole responsibility of organisations to ensure that every employee has access to a broadband connection.

 

  1. Build a culture of trust and inclusion

Social isolation is one of the direct negative impacts of embracing a culture of remote-work. This implies that employees are prone to feel lonely (missing informal social interactions with colleagues), while working away from the actual office space. Over longer periods of time, the loneliness that employees face may result in a number of resignations. Building an environment of trust and inclusion is important for embracing a new “digital” work culture. One-on-one online meetings and online team building exercises, are ways of keeping an open communication among all employees while working remotely.

 

  1. Encourage an environment of open communication and feedback

A clear and concise communication plan among employees and managers is a “must-do” or a “must-have”for all organisations adopting remote-work strategies. It is important to keep communication channels clear and open to promote transparency. Weekly meetings via Skype, Microsoft Teams and Slack are enablers of open communication when working remotely.

 

  1. Change the way you understand performance

Before strategies of remote-work can prove effective, organisations need to change how they understand employee key performance indicators and productivity. Companies need to shift away from looking at the time-spent in the office (for example, working from 9-5 daily) as the sole indicator for productivity. Have you ever had employees who work full-time and never deliver on their key performance indicators? Time spent on working hours is not a direct reflection of productivity. Therefore, physical hours of work do not account to productivity, but the actual work-done speaks for itself. The results achieved, are a direct reflection of effort or performance. When it comes to employee performance, it is important for managers to measure what really matters.

 

Organisational culture refers to a way that an organisation identifies itself and what serves as its corporate identity. Once an organisation has developed clear practices and policies that govern remote work, the building of a positive work environment is inevitable.

 

 

References
JR Bonner, 2013. Affective forces influencing oppositional managerial perception of physically remote-work arrangements. A phenomenal Study/
MM Helms & FME Raiszadeh, 2002. Virtual Offices: Understanding and Managing what you cannot see.
Sileoola Asaja, 2018. 10 Great Reasons you should embrace a remote-work culture.
Ashkvina, 2019. Tips to prepare your company to work remotely.
Staphanie Yeo, 2020. 3 Tips for establishing a remote working culture in your company.

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