Remote working isn’t just a technological problem. Creating and maintaining company culture, despite the distance, was the bigger problem.
The pandemic created a number of hurdles for work and work culture. Providing infrastructure to support remote work was the obvious first challenge, however, remote working isn’t just a technological problem. Creating and maintaining company culture, despite the distance, was the bigger problem.
Remote work and culture
If you’re not working remotely right now, you might wonder how it feels for employees who, pre-pandemic, were working exclusively on-site. How does it affect culture? Is the current culture of the company the same as before?
Fortunately, we have a vast network. We’ve heard the good and the bad:
- “I have a better work-life balance than before”
- “I’m enjoying having no commute!”
The pros of remote work
- By and large, employee satisfaction has increased. Many employees report a sense of autonomy over their work and in a lot of cases there is a reduction in work-related stress.
- Increased productivity and performance. Evidence from a study a few years back shows a 13 per cent increase in performance, noticed by both employees and employers.
- Greater access to talent pools. (See: For great talent, cast a wide net and Recruiting international employees: Top tips.)
The cons of remote work
- Onboarding has become an issue. If your company didn’t have a concrete process beforehand, it will become an even larger issue onboarding new staff remotely.
- A sense of isolation. Some employees thrive working remotely, while others have reported feeling down due to the lack of interaction. (See: How to stay sane working from home.)
- Absolute reliance on technology often means investing in new software to support workers.
Is remote working right for your business?
Assuming, of course, that it’s safe to have staff on-site, you may decide an entirely remote workforce is not right for your business at this time. If you are considering using remote workers long-term, ask yourself:
Do you have the tools to support and enable collaboration?
One of the running complaints from workers who felt displaced by this move to work remotely is that they felt they lost their connection to their colleagues. Slack is a popular platform used for company communication. It’s important there is a channel that is used in the place of watercooler chat.
Do you have the technology to simplify your business?
Choose a few tools – Google Docs, Dropbox and Asana – to simplify the suite that your staff will need at home. The fewer tools (especially when there is only one tool for one purpose) mean your staff won’t feel overwhelmed during the transition, and you won’t lose important information.
Do you have additional time to offer to support your staff?
For remote work to be effective in your business, every staff member really has to be on the same page. They need to know who to call if they have a technical issue, a personal issue, or they just need a little social interaction—just as they would in the office. This means you’ll inevitably need to make yourself more available for your staff.