Yep, a strong statement, but I believe it is true. Let me explain.
Many organizations had to switch from working co-located, to being fully remote from one day to another day. A huge impact on the way of working. Within days, blog posts popped-up everywhere with tips and tricks on how to work from home. Teams had to find new tools or finally starting to use the tools they already had available. Organizations new to remote working discovered tools like Zoom, Miro, Reetro, Sococo, etc.
It took a few days, sometimes a bit more, but most organizations were able to continue their business. Most of them even business as usual. I see updates on LinkedIn of Open Spaces with many many people. I see updates on big-room-planning sessions that are done entirely remotely. Managers switched to remote management leadership.
I worked with remote teams, entirely remotely, as also partly remote. I always believed in remote teams.
I already heard many people say that Corona has changed work forever. Pre-Corona and Post-Corona era. Remote working will become the norm.
I don’t believe it! Many people who are forced to work remotely are totally not happy with it. They prefer to work in an office with colleagues around them. Be able to go for lunch together. Have work and private life in different places. Therefore, many people will go back to the office. I think we all agree on that.
Why are most organizations successful in remote working? Because everyone is working remotely! Everyone has the same advantages or disadvantages. The playing field is equal for everyone! Take, for example, big room planning sessions. Teams are using, for example, Miro; it works great (no, I don’t have shares Miro). People are even wondering why we should return back to paper and sticky notes?
What will happen when a few people work in the office, and a few people are working remotely? The playing field is not equal anymore. People in the office have an advantage over people working remotely. Whiteboards can’t be shared, rooms have no professional meeting equipment, paper sticky notes will be used again, etc. We all experienced that a few people are remote in a meeting, and we all experienced they had a hard time participating in the meeting. It will be the case with all meetings and activities.
How to resolve this? My advice would be: If one person works remotely, everyone will work remotely. It is still OK to work in an office, but all meetings, tools will be done as the whole team is working remotely. Also, have clear work agreements in place. Select one day that the entire team will work remotely.
You could decide to work with partly remote teams. However, this requires a different approach. Just reach out to me if you want to learn more about this topic.