How Remote Work Can Really Work.
At Belongify, we know bosses that somehow think remote work diminishes collaboration and culture are feeding us a load of crap. That’s why there is this icky feeling that some bosses, particularly those of generations less familiar with remote work, are eager to regain tight control of their minions by counting butts in cubicles.
Advanced thinking companies like Google, Ford Moto, and Citigroup Inc. have promised greater flexibility. Other organizations, especially those with big wheel leaders like JP Morgan Chase & Co. Jamie Dimon, has publicly taken positions about how remote work doesn’t play “for those who want to hustle.” Nothing stokes big egos more than seeing those fearful slaves working so hard after 10:00 p.m.
The following refers to a Bloomberg Law article recounting the reaction of a very capable employee, that may be representative of people having to work on-site, just because… “The final straw came a few weeks ago: the request for an in-person gathering, scheduled for all of 360 seconds. Got dressed, dropped her two kids at daycare, drove to the office, had a brief chat, and decided she was done. Her quote: ‘They feel like we’re not working if they can’t see us,’ she said. ‘It’s a boomer power-play.’”
What many organizations and bosses may not fully realize is that the relationship between North American businesses and their employees is undergoing a profound shift. For the first time in a generation, workers are gaining the upper hand. Relevant to this is the increasing desire for flexibility and autonomy.
A May survey of 1,000 U.S. adults showed that 39 percent would consider quitting if their employers weren’t flexible about remote work. The generational difference is clear: Among Millennials and Gen Z, that figure was 49 percent.
If you’re not convinced how important remote work is, you might want to wake up! Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University, who’s researched why people quit jobs, notes: “Bosses taking a hard stance should beware, particularly given labor shortages in the economy.”
The theme of the following story is starting to become commonplace: “The mother of five moved her family to the New Jersey shore. And once the push to get back to offices picked up, the idea of commuting hardly seemed alluring. This spring, she accepted a fully remote position as chief financial officer of Yumi, a Los Angeles-based maker of baby food.”
Top talent will work where they want to. However, be careful not to be arrogant about you or your company being so special that this doesn’t apply to you. Talent at every level being in the driver’s seat will happen fast.
It’s personally gratifying to Belongify that people everywhere are finding ways to work remotely. And maybe you’ve noticed that to effectively Work From Anywhere (WFA), it takes a specific mindset to make it work.
The technology and logistics underlying WFA are important, yet fall secondary in significance to the human element. The priority challenge is how team members individually contribute to the collective good and overall value needed. In a recent Lead In podcast, we challenged you to revisit the “value versus activity” topic. This time, we’d like to coach you on the next area of development for accelerating team progress. It is an extension to the latest Lead In on optimizing productivity.
What to Do: Conduct a personal and team assessment in the following four areas:
- Risk and Failure.
- Honest Conversations.
- Helpfulness and Generosity.
- Inclusion and Belonging.
This is a continuous journey of development, and we do not want to oversimplify. However, in the spirit of starting small and acting now, please do more to:
- Minimize blame and concentrate on learning fast after mistakes are made.
- Invite people to openly talk about hard or sensitive things.
- Always think “yes” first, and ask “how might we?”
- SEE everyone, show up to be genuinely seen, make everyone truly welcome, and genuinely feel that they BELONG.
If you commit as a follower AND leader to just doing those four things more often, and get better at them, we PROMISE you will have one of the most productive, engaged, and high-performing teams. Invite everyone to be ALL IN in those four areas, and you will even become extraordinary. When you go backward in any one or more of those categories, the opposite will happen.
As we often say, it’s that easy, and that hard.
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