Nov 18th 2021
4 things we learnt at our remote vs office-based working panel event
We are so excited to have collaborated with Teamtailor in hosting our first face-to-face event in over 2 years! The topic of discussion? Remote vs office-based: Where’s the happy medium?
We invited a panel of thought leaders including Matthew Monet, Country Lead and Head of Expansion at Deel, Rebecca Kelly, CEO and Co-Founder at VenueScanner, and Sami Bouremoum, CEO and Co-Founder at Hofy, to share their insights into the world of hybrid working. Here’s 4 key things that we learnt:
1. Tools, tools and more tools
It was unanimous amongst our panelists that in order to master the efficiency of working from home it is not just about an employee’s physical set-up! It is crucial to make a mindful effort to invest in various tools and technologies that will ease the operation of working remotely as well as increase the accessibility to other team members.
Deel’s Country Lead, Matthew, who operates a fully remote workforce said; “Using the tools we’ve implemented, like Gong, our sales team have access to the best practice and learnings from over 160 colleagues. This is far more than they would get in an in-person setting.”
2. Effective in-office onboarding
The pandemic has wreaked havoc on onboarding with many companies struggling to engage new team members remotely. There can also be performance related challenges as companies report longer ramp times for new joiners, particularly for junior roles.
Rebecca, CEO at VenueScanner, described how her team has adapted their processes to support effective onboarding now the office is back in play. “We’ve made it our policy to bring junior team members into the office 5 days a week for at least the first month.” After this, VenueScanner’s team members can start adopting a hybrid working routine that suits their schedules and work/life balance.
Efficient onboarding, ramp and learning can only happen when new employees have more seasoned team members to learn from and Rebecca also described the importance of setting team KPIs to encourage senior team members to engage in the new onboarding schedule.
Ben Chatfield, CEO at Tempo, has observed that;
“It’s really important that there’s a shared objective of making everyone in the team successful. More senior team members typically have a better at-home set up and more responsibilities outside of work, which makes remote really appealing. However, we can’t forget about junior team members who massively benefit from the learning and social benefits that the office can provide – particularly whilst they’re ramping up.”
3. The fall of innovation
There was a common theme from companies who were office-based before the pandemic who had seen a noticeable drop in innovation with solely remote working.
Initially, when transitioning to a working from home model, the focus was on the productivity gains that appeared from having no office distractions. There was also a tendency for employees to want to appear busy and get a lot done. This focus on execution, whilst relatively isolated from colleagues, reduced the opportunity for spontaneous interactions and bouncing ideas off one another, which is vital for creativity.
VenueScanner has made an effort to tackle this by adopting a “Beers & Brainstorming” initiative. Teams set aside time to come together once a month (sometimes fortnightly) and immerse themselves in creative sessions to ponder ideas and bring back the social element that may be lacking when working from home.
4. Intention is everything
With a changing working environment, dabbling in a half-hearted hybrid working solution “just won’t work,” according to Sami, CEO and Co-Founder at Hofy.
It appears, employers (and staff) need to really commit to it. “You cannot simply take your onboarding deck, digitise it, send it to people and expect them to work at their best, especially in a remote setting.”
“Hybrid working is the hardest model of work to undertake successfully, that’s why you’ve got to dive right in and do it with intention”
Businesses have the opportunity to adapt their current frameworks to create a new normal. As previously scrutinised working models are proving to be successful, it is clear that companies can enable employees by determining their preferences and adapting them as they change.
It’s time to invest in your people, your tools and your processes.
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