For those once sceptical about the possibility of running an entire business remotely, the ultimate proof has been provided, and yes, it can be done.
If you and your company have been able to continue working over the last couple of months in the middle of the health crisis and despite the obvious challenges, you are probably questioning if there’s a point on going back to an office-only setup. Maybe you want to go back to the office for specific reasons, but doing work is not necessarily one of them. Maybe you already decided against it.
No one ever saw it coming this way.
The conversation about remote working has been on the table for a long time and the technology to allow it vastly available. Yet, no one imagined that overnight, we would be all working from our homes for an unknown period, forcing people to embrace it and adapt.
However, that’s also the fundamental nature of disruption and how historically great innovation and societal shifts have occurred. Some in gentler fashion than others, but generally causing significant and lasting changes.
The thing is that, in this case, there has been no invention; remote work has been around for over two decades, but the majority of companies were not considering it, and in most cases, totally disregarding it.
Because it requires a cultural shift.
Remote work and distributed teams are not just about the medium. It’s not just about the location and the technology, but about how people work and the way work is approached, and most organisations seem to be culturally unequipped.
Excuses and evidence
COVID-19 has demonstrated that remote work and distributed teams are not exclusive to certain companies (small, independent ) or industries (tech, design), some outliers that decided to do things differently.
Instead, it has demonstrated that most organisations completely neglected the idea based on the belief that work can solely happen when everyone is within a determined physical space. A bias that many might not be aware they carry, but that very few have been willing to question.
We all have heard things like this:
- “This type of job cannot be done from home”
- “The collaborative nature of the role does not allow for someone to not be in the office”
- “Communication happens better at the office”
- “Work should be done at the office”
- “It’s better to have everyone available at any time at the office”
- “We expect everyone to be at the office”
The good news is that there is no room for those excuses anymore. There’s also evidence to support the conversation.
Many companies have woken up to the reality of remote work, not only as a residual consequence of the pandemic, but as a viable avenue they didn’t know was available to them, or one they never considered before.
Others will continue to neglect it and avoid having the conversation, forcing people back into the office. The reasons (excuses) will vary, but the reality will be one, those companies won’t pass the test of time and they will struggle to retain and find talent, eventually lagging behind or just forcibly adapting.
There will be benefits and challenges, that’s for sure, but that’s a reality for every company and the sole nature of business.
Those wanting to move forward and officially embrace remote models will have to understand themselves better, make adjustments, experiment, look for help and course-correct along the way; but first and foremost, they will have to decide which way are they going? Is it fully or partially remote?
What would it look like?
This is the key question those aiming to transition need to ask themselves and their teams.
Activities like recruiting, hiring, onboarding, off-boarding, communications, and day-to-day operations will have to be looked at; some of them may change, and some organisation will find out in a hard fashion, taking remote work for granted.
This is why, when deciding to transition into a remote model, there is more to consider than just tools. It requires thinking about the ‘how’ as thoroughly as the ‘what’, strategically considering all the pieces; clearly understanding how you currently work, your teams’ and customers’ needs and what will be required to adapt accordingly.
We are here to help you lead the wave
At Changing Work, our mission is simple, to help companies easily transition from office-based to fully remote or remote-friendly organisations.
We’ve done remote for a long time in all shapes and forms. We know the ins and outs, the benefits and the challenges; not only operationally but also culturally and that’s what makes us different.
We know that remote work is not just about working from home, Zoom calls and Slack channels. There is so much more…
From tools and methodologies to underlying processes, communications and interactions, and of course, finding the right pattern for you; fully remote, remote-first or remote-friendly.
Remote work it’s about people before anything else. It’s about defining the best way that you and your team can work and enabling it; and we are here to help you make it happen, anywhere in the world.
Questions? Drop us a line. Let’s start the conversation and change work for the better.