How COVID-19 Has Permanently Shaped Remote Working

- Remote Working

by Sam at Management 3.0

COVID-19 has changed our lives, especially when it comes remote working. A new study by Atlassian says that the experience of work….

“Has undergone a dramatic shift in recent months, and that change is far from over”

While COVID-19 forced change more rapidly, practices and behaviours were already shifting. Now the “next normal” is approaching, says the study and organisations don’t fully understand what it entails.

We thought the study was really interesting and have unpacked some of it for you in this blog.

Here are a few key takeaways from the study about future implications of working remote:

#1: Organizations are uncertain about the future: They are unsure for how to prepare and respond to emerging needs and trends, and are in need of tools to help them.

#2: Distributed work could lead to an innovation drought: There’s a fear of teams becoming less creative because collaboration becomes less spontaneous and more intentional in a distributed team. It’s important that teams try to have unstructured together time to fuel ideas. This can be done through ‘coffee Zoom chats’, remote co-working sessions where colleagues work online together or in-person meet ups a few times a year (when possible again).

#3: When working remotely, people tend to prefer more structured and routine tasks: People found working from home more conducive to simpler, less collaborative, more transactional tasks and have prioritised that kind of work. Given this, it’s important that managers and employees are conscious that people are not avoiding more creative tasks.

#4: There’s a fear that collaboration is more focused and less inclusive: In an effort to make video calls more manageable, teams are reducing the number of people involved in conversations, which creates a fear in some people that discussions will be less inclusive, which could mean less voices, less diversity and less innovation. Try to vary who is on which call and don’t shy away from having larger calls with more people.

#5: People feel more effective, yet less visible: On one hand people are putting their heads down and being super productive. On the other hand, people are concerned that no one will see the work they’re producing. The study showed that two fifths (43%) of people stated they had become more concerned about their job security and careers.

Something we do at Management 3.0 to show people what we’re working on, is to report what we’ve done or what we intend to do that day in a Slack channel called #idonethis

#6: Time to shift from outputs of effort and focus on outcomes achieved: It’s an ideal time to change the way we look at what productivity means. This is an opportunity to realize that hours worked, doesn’t equate to meaningful work and that it’s less about ‘bums in chairs’ and more about getting good work done.

#7: Women found a more equal playing field: The study showed that there were some unexpected bonuses for women. Women who struggled to have dominance in the office, felt more equal when everyone appears as a tile on the screen. People are also getting better at not speaking over one another and getting better at waiting for others to finish before speaking.

How has remote working changed your team? Which habits will stay and which ones will go once COVID-19 is over? Share your thoughts in the comments below or contact us.

Photo Credit Daniel Norris via Unsplash

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