I had a number of interesting conversations with leaders of global technology businesses this week. Every conversation I had turned to the impact that remote working has had on their businesses. Every leader I spoke to was surprised at how well their employees had adapted and that positive business performance has followed. Most had worried about the negative impact home working was going to have as their trust of their teams being as productive as when they see them every day was low! A few confirmed that they will have to reset objectives to ensure that employees continue to focus on delivering KPI's and not get too comfy being out of mind!
Interestingly, one of our clients has conducted 2 pilot remote working schemes in the US and the UK. They have been analysing which roles can be done remotely indefinitely and have then polled their employees on who actually wants to work from home forever. The result has been that only 40% want to remain at home with the majority 60% seeking a return to the office. My client was also surprised at this outcome!!
It maybe that a hybrid of home working and a commute to the office will become the new norm. At Collingwood, we have started going to the office once per week and have certainly enjoyed the benefits of socialising and generally enjoying each others' company. That said, it is clear that less water cooler conversations have drastically ramped up our daily productivity whilst also giving each of us more time to focus on our well being and mental health.
So, what are you going to do?
Working from home has often been viewed skeptically by managers and executives who assumed it would result in less work getting done if they weren't there to oversee it. But a full 94% of employers surveyed said their company productivity was actually the same (67%) or higher (27%) than it was before the pandemic, even though so many of their employees have been working remotely this year.