Valued members of The Agency Collective came together with our resident HR expert, Sarah May to share what they have learned about remote working. The good, the bad and the ugly from the past two and a half years.
Forced into remote working
Do you remember the days when remote working was something of a novelty? The days when we wondered how we might use this in our business?
Suddenly we were all plunged into HAVING to make remote working work for us and our teams. But what has the impact been on our businesses? Our team members, clients, processes, and, indeed, us?
Below are some snippets from our eye-opening conversation.
“The difficult thing that we’re finding, is that different people have so many different views around what good culture is. For some people, it’s going and having a few pints on a Friday afternoon with your colleagues. Whereas for others, it’s being able to take 3 hours off in the afternoon. To spend time with your children to then go to bed earlier.”
This seems to be common throughout members’ experiences of remote working. As is the sense of loss that comes with no longer being in a physical space with our colleagues. Also, this removes a key part of managing our team’s wellbeing – picking up on their body language.
How to monitor remote working
“We have a project management system called Stream Time which we use. It’s incredibly impersonal. I’m somebody that kind of judges people by their body language. What they’re saying and how they react. I’m not somebody that sits in a corner and scours over data. To try and identify how someone might be feeling or not. That’s the thing that I’ve struggled with. The removal from the office environment is getting that kind of sixth sense.”
So how exactly can you stay in tune with your team without being overbearing?
“We brought in this organised daily stand up. Every morning it’s at 9:30. For anyone who’s at work that day. Unless they have an issue or are in a different time zone. It’s like coffee at coffee club every day. So initially this was like half an hour where we just sit and have a coffee. We do it over Zoom, and it’s like it’s a rule that we don’t talk about work.”
The key to remote working seems to be keeping that human connection. In spite of utilising technology to do so. No matter what else has changed, it’s still the people that really matter.