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11/02/2020
By
MJV Team

Remote Transformation: Working remotely requires cultural change

Before talking about Remote Transformation, let’s think about what came before. When did the world become remote? Is this a new movement, or has it always existed?

Your answer will depend on the generation you were born. Millennials may find that remote has been gaining momentum. Generation Z is absolutely sure that it has always existed. 

There is no right answer. The fact is: the world is remote. The pandemic and social isolation made this fact more clear. And it accelerated the changes in Remote Transformation. 

But, we are not talking about a seven-headed hydra nor announcing massive job loss. Humans can adapt to anything. And it would be no different in our VUCA world – volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. To overcome it, we must be agile, collaborative, and remote.

This is what we will explore in this article, as well as the “turnkey moment” that home offices are promoting in companies of all sizes and segments. 

New times: the urgency of transformations

New times call for a new mindset, a new culture, and new ways of dealing with processes and routines. Everything that used to work before no longer applies in this new reality. What was innovative has become obsolete. 

The truth is that for something new to arrive, it is necessary to give up the old. You may be asking yourself: but what is this new thing exactly? How do I achieve this model of success in times of uncertainty? This is the perfect opportunity to build a new culture together. 

The challenge is that this needs to happen quickly, reactively, and collaboratively. And the future will be in the hands of companies that take the lead on this path. 

The new normal

With the Covid-19 pandemic, our routine has turn upside down. Temporary social isolation has been a massive factor for the progress of remote transformation and decentralization of practices, routines, and decision-making, among others. 

Some companies already used remote work in their routines. Few have already taken the first steps on that journey. However, many others are caught just outside the eye of the storm. 

No matter what stage your corporation is at, you need to understand that the new normal will require plunging headlong into cultural change that embraces remote work. This is our new reality. We need to think about strategies to operate efficiently in this scenario and adopt more efficient management models and rethink processes.

Where is the remote challenge?

We already know that technology can work in our favor. More tools, applications, and platforms will appear to shorten the distance and allow tasks to be carried out 100% remotely. 

We are talking about virtual meeting rooms, applications that connect the entire team 24/7, automatically updated dashboards, and document sharing through the cloud. All of this already exists and provides more than enough infrastructure to work remotely. 

The difficulty lies in ourselves. We are not trained to work virtually, without any contact with other employees. Although, as we said earlier, this is already a reality in many companies. 

According to the Harvard Business Review, only 30% of companies train their employees to interact with digital tools. However, this training is focused exclusively on the use of the software, the technical part. In other words, practically no one focuses on behavioral use. The question remains: how will these new interactions be, and how will we deal with the social aspect? 

The answer seems simple, but it’s not: through new work management. 

The new work management

The new work management will be the key to this transition. The trick is in decentralized management. 

In a reality where the biggest challenge is to combat loneliness and encourage a scenario of exchange and collaboration among employees, companies can find efficient ways to engage them, developing a culture of cooperation.

As we have already said, the first step is to give up on the old: micromanagement, distrust, and restriction of freedom. The Era of Hyperconnectivity does not include the industrial linear model. Command and control don’t work in a world this fast.

Those who provide a structure in which decision-making is delegated will be ahead—spreading their process across all organizational levels.

It is the role of new work management to focus on:

  • Networking: networks are flexible, creative, cooperative, and agile
  • Distributed Teams: these teams can grow fast and deliver quality work
  • New Leadership: horizontal leadership, which develops teams so that they make decisions in an agile and efficient way

Home office is the new black: efficient management from anywhere

1) Get to know your remote team and:

  • Create processes aligned with them
  • Set possible and practical deadlines
  • Understand your team member’s profiles
  • Be close to them
  • Follow their progress (and don’t forget to praise them for their hard work!)

2) Discipline is key:

  • List your priorities
  • Divide up your day 
  • Do one thing at a time
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Find your balance

3) Apply good practices

  • Share with your team
  • Respect each other’s time
  • If in doubt, ask
  • If possible, leave the camera ON during meetings (in quarantine, it’s good to see a friendly face!)

4) Engage your team (their productivity depends on it!)

  • Promote a sense of belonging
  • Create channels to share content
  • Communicate – often and clearly
  • Sometimes, an open and relaxed meeting can make a big difference! 

5) Be transparent!

  • Keep files organized and accessible to everyone
  • Choose a framework for the team to follow the progress of tasks
  • Dashboards remain important. Decision making demands data to minimize risk.

Five solutions to guide Remote Transformation in your company

We know that changes bring uncertainty and demand breaking the existing structures. However, it is not necessarily to make it a moment of fear. It is highly possible to come out of this crisis strengthened, assertive, and strategic. 

Here are some solutions that can keep employee culture in line with remote transformation.

1 – Remote Sprint for Strategic Repositioning

The key here is agility. According to the Agile Methodolog1y, you don’t practice Agile; you become Agile.

Combined with Design Thinking, our Remote Strategic Repositioning Sprint proposes its own format to diagnose, conceptualize, and validate a strategic redirection.

2 – Change Management for Remote Work

The remote adherence program can enhance the possibilities of implementing a successful remote work environment in companies, helping remote teams maintain productivity, engagement, and collaboration.

3 – Implementation and Operationalization of Agile Remote Practices

We combine a series of Agile frameworks and Design Thinking to provide remote teams with more efficiency and understanding in solving the strategic challenges of diving into Remote Transformation.

4 – Internal Engagement and Social Networks

We are already serving customers who want to find new ways to involve employees and create a collaboration culture. To this end, we promote engagement in social networks, creating a content strategy to be delivered through different channels.

5 – Digital Design Thinking 

Design Thinking will be the backdrop for strategic repositioning: rethinking and understanding how people feel, how they are dealing with the new reality, what changes it brings, and what we have in common. 

DT will outline specific points to understand the individual through analysis. 

  • What we need at that moment is to understand the individual and know their needs in-depth. This will also lead us to rethink the business, and that is where Design Thinking shines.

Start now! 

These moments of crisis are the key that will push companies forward. And great changes can (and will) come from this new reality.

The sense of urgency created by COVID-19 only accelerated this transition. So, no more waiting! The time to transition to the remote is now! 

Let’s talk (remotely) about your challenges? Contact us!  

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