At the time of writing it’s June 2021, where the relationship between employee and employer has been virtual long enough to know if it can work long term.
The common benefit of this people keep highlighting is a better ‘work-life balance‘.
However, this does not make work better, which is the problem leaders should be looking to solve.
‘If we see each other less, things will be easier’
Not everyone gets on with each other, so working from home makes it far easier to not talk to people you don’t want to. Conversations are hidden away in virtual rooms, so nobody can tell if you are deliberately avoiding someone you should be talking to.
It’s a huge part of self-development to work with people you don’t like, as difficult conversations often need to be had, and having them virtually is not the ideal way to have them.
‘Everyone feels trusted to do their work’
But do they feel motivated and inspired to go the extra mile if they feel that nobody is paying attention to how hard they work?
Feeling trusted is great, empowered even more so.
Without motivation though, not so much.
“Happiness is only real when shared”
This was the last thing Christopher McCandless wrote in the film adaptation of his true story. He died alone in Alaska…whilst realising his dreams of travelling solo through the wilderness.
Ask yourself if you feel that you manage to share happiness virtually?
When working alone at home (even as part of a team) it makes celebrating achievements in a meaningful way harder.
“We’ve surveyed everyone to see how they are doing”
Always a good idea, make sure you don’t forget to talk to people though to be sure they are heard properly. Something else to consider is that you need to demonstrate that you have acted on the results of the previous survey first, otherwise people will stop believing in doing them.
“Well I won’t have to sit next to this person anyway”
Are we now hiring differently? What the person is like to sit next to certainly seems to be less relevant. Should we even be doing interviews via a chat messenger to see what they are like with the primary method of interaction we now expect.
Coming back to the final question we asked ourselves, ‘are we now hiring differently’ is the best starting point for you to think about what your approach has become. This is because anyone you have an existing relationship with in your organisation there are norms already established with.
So are you hiring someone because they will make your life as easy as possible, and that as long you don’t have to interact with them or embed them into the organisation things will be great…..in which case you are being lazy.
Look at who you will hire next and the reasons for it, this will show you the true direction you are heading with your people management in this remote new world.