The world has become more technologically advanced and the demand for people wanting to work in a flexible way, from anywhere, at any time, is at an all-time high. In addition to the technology changing the way we work, peoples lives are busier than ever, and customer expectations have risen. Response times, the "always-on" mentality, operational and financial pressures on companies and individuals, all present the need to innovate working practises and address the traditional rules of working.
From a corporate, and from a HR perspective, having remote teams means communication, managing relationships and making individuals feel included, is imperative, whether they are in a different office, in the UK or dotted around the globe.
Being connected is key.
In previous decades, before the advancements of global, accessible and unified communications systems (integrated video, team collaboration tools, messenger, text and email systems) having remote managers and disparate teams was more challenging. I am a firm believer in giving employees the tools, and trust, and encouraging teams to collaborate regularly and clearly via a combination of in-person meetings, virtual or online sessions and digital tools.
I also encourage and reward productivity through managing teams by clear, SMART objectives which makes everyone accountable and creates high performing, hard working teams.
Every minute counts in the remote workplace, especially in such a results-orientated environment, and often we find that when employees are given the freedom to work flexibly, the workplace inevitably gains in productivity.
The 9-5 day at Onecom does work for some, but for those who need to work remotely, there is flexibility to allow workers to choose the hours that suit their own productivity. Not being bound by the office time structure, the lack of social interaction and family routines to consider means that the format and structure of the working day is what you make it.
From my own personal perspective, I relocated last year, with my family, to Finland, and now reside and work from Helsinki. Working away from the office frequently, does tend to emphasise the importance of efficient and clear communication with colleagues.
There are the obvious pros and cons to working 1,500 miles away from the office environment. Many people think that you can suddenly turn off from work at a certain time, although the temptation to work a little later because there is no commute is always there. This flexibility and balancing work with home life is all about give and take.
I’ve also found that living in Finland, where the culture encourages a balanced lifestyle, and working in the Onecom environment, enables a certain loyalty and focus, that is unique to the way that I am managed, and that in turn, I aim to pass on to my colleagues and coworkers.
Building solid relationships, without speaking to the recipient directly, should be supplemented by regular catch-ups and touch points. As I only spend approximately two days in the UK HQ office every two weeks, sitting down with as many people face to face is a priority.
Settling down so close to the Arctic Circle creates its own headaches at the height of summer and winter, but with black-out blinds for the June sun, and sun lamps for lunchtime in December, I find the balance is just about right.
More than ever before, it’s increasingly manageable to be permanently based away from the office. People are seeking the perfect work/life balance, even sacrificing pay for the desired flexibility. These expectations of the tech-savvy millennial should be embraced by the modern workplace, using the increasingly-advanced technology at our disposal.
After all, work is now something you do, rather than somewhere you go.
For more information contact Onecom info@Onecom.co.uk