• bmkhondo

Why remote work is here to stay—and how to get it right

Updated: Apr 28, 2021

From ‘work from home’ to ‘work from anywhere’

The first thing you want to do is survey your employees to truly understand their preferences in terms of how they want to see their work arrangements post-COVID-19—meaning do they want one or two days a week of remote work? Do they want remote work full time? Do they want nothing to do with remote work? What do they really want? And these surveys should be collected anonymously, so that we truly have a real picture of what people want.

Once you understand that, you want to develop a policy that looks at a hybrid model if you decide to move in a direction that includes remote work and in-person work. Ask “What does that look like for us given the critical tasks that we need to accomplish in our organization, given our stakeholders, and given the kind of rhythm—the cadence of work—that we want to achieve?”

For some it’s giving people full freedom. “You can come in and out based on the work that we do.” For some, “we actually want people in on these specific two days a week to ensure that we have co-located times.” For others, it’s “work for two weeks remotely and then come in for two weeks remotely.”

You’ll also need to articulate your revised cultural norms. The culture of your organization has newly changed, so “What are our cultural norms?”—meaning “What are the appropriate behaviors that we want to espouse to maintain the type of culture that is right for us?”

Then, of course, you want to make sure that you’re upskilling your entire workforce on remote work and digital-mindset competencies. And in many instances, depending on your size, you may want to consider adding the role of a chief remote officer to the C-suite to ensure that there’s oversight across the entire workforce on systems, structures, processes, culture, people, and training and that all of these pieces are not only aligned but part of the executives’ level of work.

How does remote work make an impact on an organization’s culture?

Many people are concerned about the change that remote work might bring to their culture. But the reality is that change has already happened by the sheer fact that we are now operating remotely. And culture means asking “What are our shared values” and “What are our shared norms”—meaning “What are the appropriate behaviors and attitudes that we espouse in our organization?”

Remote work and virtuality have shifted our norms of working and what’s appropriate: How do we make decisions? How do we connect? How do we problem-solve? It’s shifted all of that. So the culture has already changed, and the thing to do now is think about how you will revise or update your culture so that people can thrive in a remote environment and adapt to this new world.

Holding on to what was before is how people are going to get in trouble. We need to be forward-thinking, embrace the things that we love, change the things that we don’t, and accept the fact that our cultures as we know them have changed forever.

Article has been taken from McKinsey&Co please see the original article below:


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