In the past 10 years, technology has disrupted the way we work and collaborate virtually with colleagues sitting miles away from us. Now with the coronavirus forcing us to stay at home, home office has taken on new dimensions. Home office is not a trend anymore, but it is here to stay. On one side, companies have come to understand that providing remote work helps them attract talent, and, on the other side, employees assert that they get more work done outside of the office.
The state of home office in times of coronavirus
Nevertheless, everybody got a shock when, due to coronavirus, we were told to stay home and work from home. We were not prepared. Those with kids did not expect that doing home office with the whole family will lead them fighting for a space: the wife sitting in the kid’s room and skyping with her colleagues, the husband sitting in the sleeping room and doing his daily agile meeting, the older kid sitting in the living room and trying to access moodle while talking to her school friend about the exercises… while the five year old is running and crying cause no one has time for her…things can get complicated. What do we do in this situation? I bet this is happening in many homes right now. The actual situation shows us that investing to have the right equipment and to create a necessary environment to work or study from home is a crucial investment in the 21st Century. Because just like home office, distance learning is going to be the norm.
Scepticism of the manager
Managers of our times need to change. We need a new type of manager: the one who trusts his employees, and believe in the productivity as well as the efficiency of his employees when s/he is in home office. Today a good manager should not bear in mind all those received ideas that allowing employees to work from anywhere will lead to a decrease in communication among cowokers. With distance becoming a social competence and a ritual right now, managers should see that all communicational channles are opened, and that he is leading the sharing of knowledge and information. A good manager is someone who trusts his employees.
The Fearless Employee Wins the Productivity Race
Employees on their side are productive (even if their professional is blurring their personal one), but they still need to have the feel good factor. Some employees develop a fear when working from home; they develop the habit of constantly checking their emails with the fear that they might be late in answering their manager’s request. This should not be. That’s the manager’s job to comfort the employee and to explain him that home office does not mean sitting and answering all emails within seconds.