In March 2020, companies across the globe abruptly shut their offices and instructed employees to work from home indefinitely as a result of the pandemic.
At first, many thought the lockdowns would only last for a few months. But one year later, there are still employees working from home.
The pandemic has forced a very large segment of the global workforce to go through a remote-work experiment on a scale never seen before and a lot has changed in the last 12 months.
Even before the pandemic, MERIDIAN REMOTE TEAMS had already experimented and proven the viability of a foreign work setup as a sort of employment. Our country has one among the very best number of freelancers, with roughly two million Filipinos engaged in freelance work. The Philippines was the fastest growing freelancing country in the world — with us being (remove being )before India, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, and Mexico during this regard.
One upside to remote work is its flexibility, allowing remote teams to be anywhere within the country, provided their internet connections are fast and reliable. Such flexibility has allowed for “workstation” packages to prop across the tourist areas like Boracay Island and Bolinao, Pangasinan, where remote hostels and homesteads have converted themselves to co-working spaces with assured internet connections.
While such innovations were born out of the pandemic, one can’t help but believe how such flexible setups are often leveraged how to decongest our urban spaces and spur economic processes within the countryside. It’s now evident that social distancing measures will remain for the foreseeable future, and as a result, many organizations are turning to long-term remote working. This shift will protect the physical well-being of employees, and stands to possess a good greater impact: that of leveling a company playing field that has been uneven for much too long.
Even organizations that embraced remote work a few years ago and have had time to perfect the art of unlocking team performance with remote TeamMates got to adapt to the planet we now inhabit. These organizations do not need to bring people together physically as required and have an equivalent opportunity to hunt out alternate, more forward-thinking methods for uplifting informal networks and connections.
MERIDIAN REMOTE TEAMS have recognized the necessity to bridge the social connection gap by doing things like organizing virtual happy hours and month-end pizza parties, and including some sort of social interaction in meetings. These injections of fun create a way of connection and play that’s often missing when performing from home, and are significant to job satisfaction. However, they really only scratch the surface in terms of developing new and truly impactful means of social connection at work.
A sense of purpose, being a part of an innovative team, and powerful professional development opportunities provide invaluable fuel to a corporation – and we got to find new ways to get these elements from a distance.
Innovation in Remote Working
Because humans are nothing if not nimble and artistic , I’ve already seen some samples of interesting ways to bridge the newfound connectivity gap. Over time we’ll come to know which of those methods is best for creating a more equitable sense of belonging and purpose in an office setting, but each of those examples seems to be a thoughtful and promising place to start out .
In an attempt to duplicate an open space co-working dynamic (where issues are often addressed swiftly because of an open flow of communication), groups within organizations have started co-working virtually on projects on an open Zoom call or conference bridge. The individuals on these calls work mostly in silence but call bent co-workers as required , giving other team members a chance to profit from indirect knowledge transfer.
Truly open technology
Adopting technologies like Slack and Zoom is never a replacement innovation within the workplace, but some fast-acting organizations have opened channels, groups, chats, and conversations which may otherwise are restricted to their whole team across the enterprise.
Cross-functional talent reviews
In a cross-functional talent review, leaders gather with their cross-departmental peers to debate the strengths of every of their top-performing team members, with a view to staffing the upcoming projects and initiatives. this provides leaders exposure to a greater pool of talent, and therefore the opportunity to make more diverse teams.
This kind of review is awfully beneficial for generating innovation, and it also greatly enhances the career development of talented individuals. It’s here that we see perhaps the most important potential to interrupt previous biases and unintentionally discriminatory practices within the workplace.
In the past, in an in-person setting, the cross-functional component of those reviews would have happened more informally over coffee or during check-ins with other leaders. Working remote, the review is often done during zoom one-on-one coaching or team huddles.
Going forward, organizations would have best to make a framework around how they select and mention their top performers, and expose them to other organizational areas. As leaders, we’d like to purposefully generate networks and connections which may never be formed in the first place.