Creating an effective remote working culture: Managing fatigue and preparing for the future of work
Author: Harry Chapman, Content Director, UC EXPO
Many employees are becoming sick of video calls. Nearly every person I speak to is at least getting a little bit bored of them (even though the tech is fantastic) as there are so many of them. But as the workplace changes, what is the right culture when it comes to remote working?
Let’s face it, we’re never going back to the office in the same form. It may be that you’re there for 1-2 days a week but never all the time, so you’re going to need to adjust your culture. There are two things to think of here – the small wins to make remote working easier and the overall direction for your organisational culture going forward, are you going to embrace remote working or fight against it?
Let’s start with the hints and tips. From speaking to a lot of people over the past few months in senior technology roles, these are some of the things we’ve learned:
- Have meeting free days – this will allow you to really focus on your work. Much like some people would do this in the office, avoid meetings. Tell your manager what you want to achieve in this day, if monitoring is an issue.
- Turn the camera off for internal meetings. You and your colleagues know what you look like, you can have a weekly team call where you get to see everyone. This will give your eyes a chance to rest and is less demanding.
- Have a routine – switch off devices at a certain time and make sure you build a lunch break into your day. Don’t get trapped into various instant messaging systems.
- Make your health and wellbeing your number one priority. You are no use to your employer if you’re frazzled and start making mistakes.
What about your organisational culture? Are you truly going to embrace remote working? I’ve read a number of quotes and heard a number of stories of grizzled, often old, senior management saying ‘we can’t wait to have everyone back in the office’ or ‘we’re planning for a return!’ Most employees do not want to go back and senior management needs to face up to this fact or lose talent in droves. Yes, they may hang on to people for a short period in the poor economic climate but long term most people do not want to be in the office full time. However, it’s not just letting them work remotely for some of the week that is key for your culture. It’s setting clear targets and trusting them to do the job which is essential.
Yes, we will need to be in the office for some of the week for team cohesion but you need to trust and empower your team members for the days that they aren’t. It doesn’t matter if you don’t hear from them during that time, create measurable targets that you both agree on and then trust them to do the job. Organisations that get this right will dominate the employment market in their sector, getting access to the best talent. So get your plan in place and prepare to take what feels like that giant leap into the world of remote work, now.
For more information and data on the effect that Coronavirus has had on company culture, check out our recently published market insights report.