Returning to the days of working at home

03/18/2020
03/18/2020 CHRC

Returning to the days of working at home

COVID-19 has forced many companies to adopt new and expanded work from home policies. But remember—commuting is a 200-year-old fad—previously most everyone worked where they lived. Long before the Industrial Revolution, farmers, carpenters, blacksmiths, teachers, and shopkeepers typically made their livelihoods where they lived. About two decades ago, corporate America got the memo on flexibility. Those companies that have become adept at remote working will have the most ease at adapting to our new set of circumstances and keep a large chunk of the business world operating through the current crisis. 

Online tools such as Slack, Zoom, or Skype allow for companies to stay connected while physically distant. CHRC has relied heavily on Zoom, a video conferencing tool, as a communication platform for years. We not only use it for meetings with clients, but also amongst ourselves when collaborating on spreadsheets or reports. Stella Garber, product marketing lead at Trello also uses Zoom to manage a team spread across the country. A recent Chicago Tribune article shares how Garber “spends much of her day in meetings on Zoom…whose stock is up about 60% since the start of the year, which can be configured to show everyone’s face like a ‘Brady Bunch’ grid so colleagues can see each other’s reactions.” 

Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, believes that this global pandemic will allow companies to see that working remotely “can be done successfully” and also “demonstrate the benefits beyond disaster preparedness.” In order to make working from home successful, Philippe Weiss, president of Seyfarth Shaw at Work, suggests that “managers must set clearer expectations, offer more frequent praise and have more purposeful check-ins on progress when their workers are remote. They should overcommunicate, but not too much.” 

We predict that the true test will be of management skills and disciplined and purposeful communication. Investing in training for these capabilities right now will result in a much healthier organization long after we’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19. Read More Here