While the Omicron version of Covid 19 continues to run out of control, the Remote or Hybrid discussion has taken on increased importance. Not that it has not always been important since Covid began, Remote seems to be winning again. It is not only important as to employee choice, but also applies to the nature of the business and whether employers are positioned to manage either model effectively. Some highly motivated employees will thrive while being remote, but for the less motivated, it will be a management challenge. The attached article from the Boston Globe today sheds some light as to how companies are reacting: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/12/26/business/role-office-recedes-companies-invest-real-estate-savings-into-remote-work/?s_campaign=breakingnews:newsletter
It is important for companies to carefully follow their competitors positioning because it can’t be a negative positioning with competitors. It also must be relevant in the context of each company’s business model and also must include an effective business model and management skills to manage an even Hybrid model. Managing people is not the same for remote employees as when employees are sitting next to their managers. Managers must also develop applicable metrics for use in managing as well as being efficient. Remote may seem easy – no dress codes required, people must love it, and conduct can be a little looser while at home than when in the office. But, from a manager’s perspective – it is a hard thing to do – especially when not factored into hiring decision criteria, management metrics, business plans, and customers’ experience. It is also important for employees to interact, learn from colleagues, and share information and tools.
My own experience has been negatively influenced by companies’, utilities, and state government’s initial reasons for delays being ‘because we are working from home’. I have experienced delays in phones being answered, reps not being able to reach more applicable and informed colleagues, and when a person does not know an answer or a reason, to just say it is because they are working from home…just plain aggravates me. This has become EXCUSES territory. The second area is in voice response units that have now been dealing with higher than anticipated call volume demand since Covid started, but these companies can’t bother to increase the timing of voice response productivity or volume capacity for 2+ years? I hope that companies will improve their capacity restraints and turnaround measures to accommodate Remote as well as offering it as an option to employees.