So, restrictions are lifting and greater freedoms are being granted by the Government, but are businesses taking advantage of these new freedoms? Yesterday I walked through Pynes Hill to check on our office and what was very noticeable was the emptiness of the office car parks that I walked past. What is normally a very busy business estate was very quiet. Why?
Is there still concern about returning to an office environment? Is the challenge of preparing the office for social distancing too great a challenge at the moment? Or, is that remote working has been an unexpected success?
From our business perspective we’ve seen no issues with remote working and there’s no doubt that staff like working from home, with one of the many benefits being increased productivity, and that’s on top of outstanding productivity when at the office. Working from home is also removing barriers and by that I mean conversations have become more personal with increased mutual respect. There is a greater empathy between the caller and the engineer on the technical problems being experienced by the caller and the challenges faced by the engineer to get that caller back up and running quickly. Teamwork and collaboration between the caller and the engineer have reached new heights and are proving themselves to be an essential part of the ‘new normal’.
One downside (I’m sure there are many more) is not actually seeing your colleagues in person and instead only ever seeing them on a video call. I certainly miss that social aspect of communication but does this mean that remote working is flawed? I don’t believe so. As we’ve found with adapting to lockdown we can overcome these types of challenges. For example, an organisation can adopt a blended approach of some days at home and others in the office, or a regular socially distanced team meeting either at the office or in a hired meeting room.
Technology has without doubt played an important role in remote working, for example, by giving us the ability to meet digitally with the benefit that meetings are now in a neutral venue (i.e. the screen in front of you). The result is that conversations can be a lot more productive and I don’t know why but with greater empathy between all participants. Is it possible that this pandemic has lead to technology creating a more collaborative working relationship between employees, managers, owners, clients, prospects and suppliers? It would be great if it has.
How are you finding remote working? Is it delivering benefits you never expected or is it causing your business pain? Is there a way to take a step back and review the positives and negatives you’ve experienced over the past 3 months to see how you can build on the successes or adapt to overcome the negative aspects of remote working?
There is no doubt that some businesses, no matter how much they adapt, won’t be able to bend their business and services to get benefits from remote working, but for many others there are benefits just waiting to be embraced.
I’m certainly no business guru but if you, the reader, would like to discuss how we’ve overcome some of the challenges we’ve experienced during the pandemic and those we’re still being challenged by, or even to talk through your challenges please get in touch. I’m very happy to share experiences.
Also, if you want advice on getting the best from technology so that it helps your business, give me a call.
We’re all in the same boat, so let’s hope that all businesses continue to row in the same direction, as the benefits from remote working and the ‘new normal’ can be huge.