With businesses in all industries being forced into remote working during the lockdown, it is now interesting to see whether this is here to stay as things slowly start to return to normal. It appears that remote working has been largely successful in most industries with many companies reporting that employees have been productive during this time, so with so many perks it seems plausible that remote working will be a long term approach for many.
A Change in the Status Quo?
While it seems to have been successful during lockdown with 77% of employees feeling that employers have handled the remote work transition effectively, almost half of workers expect a return to a limited flexible working policy once the lockdown ends. This could be because many see office working as the status quo and something that will be challenging to change, but many companies could adopt a remote working policy and especially those that utilised flexible and remote work prior to the lockdown.
One such company is Parcel2Go who have experienced an enormous surge in demand and had to hit the ground running at the start of the lockdown. Fortunately, Parcel2Go already had 60% of their workforce working remotely so it was not too challenging and they already knew how to manage remote teams which has been a problem for many and a reason why some businesses will return to office work.
Managing Remote Teams
This would be a shame because remote working can work and it brings so many benefits to both the business and employees. The Head of Operations for Parcel2Go, Phil Woodbridge, recently explained how large remote teams can be managed effectively and how communication is key:
“We stay in contact using many methods to ensure we adapt to everyone’s needs – that could be a simple phone call, text, email, rocket chat, WhatsApp.
I would say a method we have adopted is google hangouts – this brings a personal touch as you can see the team and interact as you were with them. It offers real unity, trust and is more personable.”
Woodbridge also explained how he keeps his team motivated and overcomes the common issue of isolation when it comes to remote work:
“Using the above methods, taking time out to do something different such as Pictionary, ice breakers, and fun facts. Making sure that people know we are there but to also give them time to themselves – we are all in this together.”
It will be interesting to see how businesses now respond as life slowly starts to return to normal. It is easy to see remote working to become the norm in many cases because it benefits both the business and employees and many companies have found that it has been a highly effective way of working during the lockdown.