Remote working has introduced new ideas that can be retained post crisis
Last Friday after work a group of customers and colleagues got together for a zoom beer. This particular group had presented six months ago at an event Daysha ran in Dublin.
We discussed new behaviours we would bring into business as usual – when remote working is optional.
Each person was asked to prepare 2 ideas … and here are 7 you might like to reflect on.
1. Remote working tools interrupted work pre-lockdown and video conference compounds the problem. Zoom fatigue had to be addressed
In general productivity amongst teams was as good if not better since enforced remote working. There were less ‘drive by shootings’ where an engineer was being dragged away from a task in hand.
One organisation now breaks out 3 hours twice a week where all email, slack, Whataspp, phone calls and video conference are prohibited. Tuesday and Thursday afternoons were recommended. This has reduced context switching and enabled people to plan more intensive work during these silent periods.
2. Non native English speakers are heard more clearly at their desks. One organisation noticed that bridging two physical rooms using visual conferencing resulted in low engagement from the non native English room.
With remote working at their desks non native speakers were more vocal and meetings had better outcomes.
Verbal communication also needs to be much sharper. One organisation has arranged for people to tune into Toastmasters.
3. Written communication needed to be ‘less waffly’. One organisation circulated these ‘write like an Amazonian’ guides to all staff.
4. More one on one’s. Being aware of your colleagues mindset matters. There was a general consensus that pre-lockdown there had not been enough personal engagement and when back at the office, more time would be set aside to just ‘chat’.
This would be done pro-actively in diary planning to take people to the coffee shop or canteen.
5. Either everyone is remote or no one is. Productivity is negatively impacted where some co-located people work with individuals who are remote.
6. Coaching remotely is very difficult. This is a team activity which requires participants to be physically present.
Training can be delivered remotely by breaking content into 2 hour chunks. Trainees need to study content in advance of any virtual classes. Providing social forums for students and instructors helps with out of hours learning.
7. Preparing for and managing black swan events. If you can be lean before a crisis it’s straightforward to elevate that way of working during the crisis. As we enter a recessionary period – being lean will make sense. Retaining that lean outlook is the best preparation for the next recession.