As we head into week 14 (or is it week 15) of lockdown in the UK, conversations in the information/knowledge industries (any company that deals with numbers and words rather than people and things) are shifting from “can our business function with everyone working remotely” to “how can we leverage remote work to improve our business.”
We envisage cycles of workshopping and then execution and delivery, in which all relevant parties would be part of intense periods of collaboration and ideation to set direction and create a plan, followed by a time in which each team member would execute their part of the plan.
The concern going into lockdown was that people simply wouldn’t be able to function away from the office. Remote and flexible working had already started picking up in certain sectors, but many industries have flat out rejected it as an option for years, to the detriment of working parents’ (especially mums’) careers. Whilst no-one will deny that there have been challenges to working at home, particularly for people in shared living spaces or with children at home, the impact on productivity hasn’t been nearly as adverse as expected. We’ve helped several companies transition to home working, and with the right tools and guidance, it can even boost productivity. This is for several reasons:
Modern offices are incredibly distracting places
Commuting takes up a huge amount of time, resulting in either less time to work or take care of yourself
Remote meetings tend to be more purposeful and efficient.
Remote working also has several non-productivity benefits, most notably the reduction in costs associated with office space itself.
That said, it’s clear that we can’t all work apart from each other all the time. Collaboration happens much more effectively in person, and intentional in-person gatherings are also key to creating a healthy company culture.
So, how can we maintain the benefits that come with remote working along with the benefits of effective gathering?
The answer: workshops. This is great news for us, as workshops are what we’re all about!
The future of work in information sectors can and should combine workshops with remote work for the best output and optimised employee wellbeing. We envisage cycles of workshopping and then execution and delivery, in which all relevant parties would be part of intense periods of collaboration and ideation to set direction and create a plan, followed by a time in which each team member would execute their part of the plan. This is how meetings should work, but offices encourage a culture of drip-feed, ineffective meetings and iteration, resulting in divided attention and meeting fatigue. This culture of meeting far too much means that when workshops do happen, they are rarely given the mental space they deserve.
The pandemic has been and continues to be, awful. However, we should use this time to rethink ways of working to create systems that prioritise creativity, focus and wellbeing above presenteeism.
If you’re interested in having a discussion about the future of your company and developing a system of workshops that work hard for your team, give us a call on 07832 692 412.