Finding the balance
Everyone has had a taste of working from home. Some people have loved it, and some people can’t wait to get back into the office.
The thought of working from home, having more flexibility, less commuting to the office, and more control over their work schedules seemed heavenly.
It has been almost 12 months. The pitfalls of working from home have started to become evident. With the inability to separate work and family, often working long hours, but most of all, meeting our human need for connection.
According to Gallup, remote employees are 7% less likely to see their connection to a company’s mission. Because staring at a laptop screen with six other faces is inherently transactional, less spontaneous, and less human than working in an actual room with actual people.
The benefits of increased productivity and flexibility are being compromised with the lack of collaboration and the negative impact on company culture.
The question is, “How do we achieve the best of both worlds?”
Luke, a client of mine, is the CEO of a large Telco. He is committed to meeting the needs and wishes of his team and delivering results for the business.
Like many organisations, Luke and his team were dealing with the challenges of keeping people engaged. Many experienced high levels of stress and feelings of isolation. Luke was afraid of losing good people and the erosion of their strong company culture.
Creating a blended workforce.
With the need to collaborate, innovate and connect, Luke, with his Executive team, have developed a plan that seems to be working. A typical week at their workplace looks like this.
1. On Tuesdays, the Executive team all come together to work in the office.
Which allows them to collaborate and connect, and keep their communication
and strategy on track.
2. Each Executive and their team select one day per week where they come together to work in the office.
3. Everyone selects the third day to work in the office. The day of the week they choose is entirely up to each individual.
4. Two days per week, everyone works remotely.
This appears to be working.
A recent BCG study on remote work stated, “employees satisfied with social connectivity are more likely to maintain or improve productivity on collaborative tasks.”
The new normal may be.
Our office is where we maintain connection and collaboration.
The home is where we maintain flexibility and productivity.
The benefits of increased productivity and flexibility are compromised with the lack of collaboration and the negative impact on the company culture.