In the new normal and new world of work based on technological advances and changing customer expectations and behaviors, remote working is a great opportunity to be discovered. Based on the nature of the product or service, companies have the flexibility to determine what best suits their business and their stakeholders. The professional role of the individual is another important consideration in determining the remote work setup, which can be home work, hybrid work, office work, field work, or shifting staff depending on the business need. While there are important pros and cons of working remotely, every organization needs to shape its remote working culture, influence, lead and manage its virtual teams.
Based on the new insights, the following are some of the tools managers can use in shaping their remote work culture:
Start with the need for a home office to create a productive environment. The right equipment will help you work remotely in effective ways, such as an ergonomic desk and chair; Noise canceling headphones; strong WIFI connection and adequate lighting to name a few.
The technology tools enable people to be agile, facilitate collaboration and efficiency. Investing in the right tools, training, and helping people customize it will increase efficiency. The functionalities of these collaborative tools have made it possible to work together despite the team members working from different locations. Teams can now huddle and brainstorm online, replacing meeting rooms and whiteboards. Projects can be discussed and approved in real time. Shared files can be stored in the cloud so teams can access the same information they need to make decisions or get a task done in advance. As work from home becomes the norm, even more features can be added to make collaboration from home smoother. Meetings with customers and suppliers via online platforms help keep companies moving.
Moving from an office environment to a remote one is a big change and many of us have had to make some adjustments. During this time, successful companies focused on communication, employee morale, productivity, safety, and general wellbeing. To maximize insights during the pandemic period, organizations should shape their culture of remote working and focus on leadership behavior of empathy, empowerment, inclusion, innovation and recognition. Managers need to adapt their leadership skills to manage remote teams.
Another outcome of the pandemic is mental health talks. As social beings, we live from human interaction. The feeling of isolation and mental health problems are a reality. The general well-being of employees in the workplace has expanded to include emotional health. One of the best practices that companies have taken is creating social networking platforms, mental health awareness raising, professional support from psychological counselors, wellness apps, mindfulness exercises, etc. Some organizations have even gone a step further by taking advantage of the Employee families and can even take part in virtual employee events. When working remotely, the boundaries between work and home are usually blurred, so implementing some work-life balance strategies will be successful
a long way to go in supporting employees. With the help of analytics tools, it can help gain insights into work habits and give tips on how to work smarter.
Manage continuous learning
While the need to keep abreast of advances in our respective areas of expertise, acquire new skills, use newer tools and platforms, etc. of working. Online learning is now the new way to refresh yourself on the job. Companies have in-house learning portals that work with outside platforms and universities to bring some of the best courses to employees. Through these platforms, managers can guide teams to take courses relevant to their area or encourage them to learn about topics that are of interest to them. The course material on these platforms is bite-sized so that employees can learn a little more every day and revisit the module if necessary.
The performance management process must be adapted to the evolving changes in the organization. Investing in the right tool increases the efficiency of the process and documentation. The focus must be on a continuous performance cycle and performance reviews in which the goals of managers and employees are checked and adjusted in real time. Discussions should focus not only on the results achieved, but also on the behavior of the employee when working on the goals. This will help promote leadership values and behaviors in the organization. Regular performance reviews, formal and informal meetings are the key to ongoing assessment. These sessions help managers understand the barriers that employees face and support them in overcoming them. Performance coaching helps employees to increase their overall effectiveness.
HR managers and team leaders quickly adapted programs and events to promote employee loyalty and put them online. Some of them host coffee chats to share experiences outside of work, webinars, podcasts, reward and recognition programs, town halls, games, and icebreakers. All of this has proven to be a great way to remind employees that it is okay to take a break from work – an important factor for all of us who are very focused on work.
To create a successful remote work environment, once we have the communication and collaboration tools to improve the work environment – provided we use them – creating a successful remote culture that incorporates company values and leadership is key Tools wisely.
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