The #1 learning from remote-only organisations

How well can you paint a vivid picture about the person behind the professional?

(3 min read)

The pandemic and our world at work …

No one wished the pandemic upon us, but it’s here. While there’s both anxiety and indeed misery to contend with, it’s very heartening to see the way the world is rallying together to ensure that we all come out strong on the other side. Stronger even.

Those who know better will tell you, we’ll find ourselves here again. No this isn’t a prediction for another pandemic. The reasons to change and adapt will always be new, the need for resilience, agility and empathy, always the same. Especially when it comes to the world at work.

Organizations today find themselves in a work from home pilot, like never before, with little or no visibility on how the situation will play out. Some seem to be more prepared than others, even if only from a remote infrastructure perspective. And for some time now, we’ve had a small minority of organisations that have championed a predominantly remote and even remote-only model. Be these organizations such as Invision, Automattic, etc. or dynamic global communities that contribute to the likes of Wikipedia and Linux.

Our best bet for crisis management …

When it comes to managing remote or distributed teams, there’s a laundry list of things that remote-only organizations approach differently and execute better than others. But if you look closer, there’s a common thread that runs through all that they do differently.

They focus on and prioritize quality of relationships at work, in everything they do.

Yes, it makes more sense when you don’t really have the luxury of physical presence. But interestingly enough, they do it better than in-office organizations. Some of whom may have taken this luxury for granted, till now.

Remote or not, truly prioritizing relationships at work is easier said than done. It’s almost like learning a new skill, for everyone involved – leaders, managers and team members. The tough part, as always, is letting go of some of the common habits and pre-conceived notions that get in the way.

Your organization’s social network …

CONNECT: Encourage self-expression and drive inclusion. Best assessed by the prevalence and richness of safe, boundaryless conversations that aren’t limited by hierarchy and demographics.

REFLECT: Inform self-awareness and maintain transparency. Best assessed by the prevalence and richness of collective intelligence and shared insights for all and not just leaders.

GROW: Nudge self-improvement and establish trust. Best assessed by the prevalence and richness of coaching conversations and personalized nudges and not just reviews and instructions.

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