The Remote – Back to Work Challenge
I am hearing from a lot of executives and CEO’s that they are facing challenges with transitioning their teams from remote working to being back in the office. There are a lot of complexities to this situation.
Some employees have gotten used to working from home and appreciate not only the conveniences of working from home, but also having more time for themselves due to no commute. Now that businesses were forced to make this an option, just to stay viable, many employees have found that they are not willing to return to the office. Over the last year, many of us struggled tremendously, cutting expenses where we could. We had to make decisions on what was really important; personally, professionally and organizationally. From a personal viewpoint, I found that 2020 was certainly the year of clarity. 2020 forced us to look at our lives and our values to determine what was truly important.
For decades, (definitely my entire life) we have been working pretty much the same: Management strategies have changed and technology has changed, however the 8-5 work day with a commute to be in the office interacting in person with people has been the way for as long as we have known, for the majority of businesses. Thankfully, there were those handful of businesses that were already leveraging technology to work with teams around the globe. With this infrastructure and technology available, traditional companies were able to step up and be agile in the face of the pandemic. The question that is on the mind of many employees that adapted to the needs of their companies and were flexible, turning their homes into offices is: if it worked for the last year, why is it so important to go back to the office? And why should they?
When we look at this from the perspective of the remote employee, we can see many advantages to the work from home model for them:
- Being able to have lunch with family
- More time for self care
- Less stress – not dealing with office politics
- Able to focus better on work due to lack of distractions in the office or being pulled in too many directions
- Some families can reduce to one vehicle
- Save money on the expense of commute and everything related
- Save money of lunches
- Saving on day care
On the other hand, we also have employees that struggled with working from home. They found it hard to focus and appreciate the time at the office to interact with others. We all have different communication styles and thrive in different environments. As managers, maybe we have felt that it easier to keep team alignment when everyone is under the same roof. If we look at the key components to effective management, I think we need to ask ourselves as employers: why do we need everyone under one roof? Is there a way to be flexible and effective? The short answer, is yes. We can be flexible and effective, by choice, rather than by necessity in a survival mode instinct. We must do it by design, ensuring we have the right tools in place to achieve success.
As an employer, we need to ask ourselves: How can we achieve amazing results with our teams while being flexible to the needs of our people?
- It is having clear metrics in place to measure the performance of our employees, which naturally means that we must set up clear expectations for each role and let the employees know how success is measured in their role.
- We must know what motivates our employees and how they work together as a team: the teams behavioral style. When equipped with this information, we can communicate effectively and efficiently with our teams, regardless of where they are sitting, to ensure our desired outcomes.
- We must clearly identify the business goals, understanding how the team’s behavioral style maps to the goals.
- The last key component is the employee buy in. We need to engage our team to be a part of this process defining their interaction and ensure they understand their role in achieving the results and goals of the organization.
With all of these components in place, you can create a path forward to execute with confidence.
I know…it’s sounds so simple, right?…Obviously not, or we would not see so many great organizations struggling with this. The great news is that there are tools available to help create the picture of how to roll out a strategy based on this formula.
Schedule a 1:1 Talent Strategy Session Today
With expert consulting powered by PI software; a tool that lets you see and improve a team’s chances of success, together we can:
- Reveal your team’s behavioral style.
- Layer on business goals — so you can visualize identity and goals together.
- Clear the path forward so you can execute with confidence.