Office or Home – It’s still about people
Ironing out homeworking wrinkles from Cosmic UK
You might recognise the name Kate Doodson. She’s spoken at several of our events, and Cosmic, the company of which she’s Joint Chief Executive, helps businesses, non-profits, schools and public sector organisations with all kinds of IT solutions. So Kate’s savvy when it comes to remote working’s pros and cons; we’ve linked Cosmic’s site below, but here’s a summary of some key points,from their Remote Working Advice Toolkit
Plenty of people prefer homeworking and perform better there. But because no two people are identical, responses are bound to vary. No commuting can be a plus, but a missing sense of belonging to a team is not. Likewise, while some research suggests improved staff retention, homeworking sometimes hinders collaboration.
Focusing on process helps
When people know what’s expected, and what their outputs should be. Scheduled meetings and regular hours reinforce this, as does an emphasis on standards and office-like habits.
Of course, software can bring together the disparate and facilitate collaboration (see our earlier blog). But once people sit around the virtual table – video meetings can be fraught in ways which physical meetings aren’t. Pets, children and technical glitches to consider, for example!
Cosmic have some sensible tips for ironing out wrinkles.
But while some of this concerns process, software and hardware, mainly it’s about people
This would be true if we were only homeworking because the office was being refurbished. It’s doubly so in the long shadow of a pandemic, when anxieties distract us all. So the emphasis is on people’s well being, both physical and mental. Some of us love homeworking, others miss the team and the sense of joint enterprise it brings. Identifying different types of people and adapting your approach accordingly is key to keeping things on track in difficult times.