07.07.2020Bitesize

Bite size – how to create a remote-first culture

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Welcome to Bite Size – our bi-monthly blog where we explore a topic in bite size form – short, sharp and easy to digest

About 5 years ago, virtual meetings or training was virtually unheard of, let alone adopted. But slowly, as time and technology moved forward, the market started to ask for blended learning, contact with remote teams and the odd video conference.

Roll forward to today and it seems the whole corporate world has opened up to embrace a remote-friendly organisational culture.

But drive that thought a bit further and imagine an organisational culture that would be remote-first!

If we picture this thought on a continuum, a face-to-face culture would sit on the left, a remote-friendly culture in the middle and a remote-first culture on the right.

Today, many organisations currently sit somewhere between left and middle when it comes to virtual working, especially since the pandemic forced them into adopting remote working.

At CLP, we think that is not enough.

Predictably, organisations are unlikely to go back to a predominantly face-to-face meeting and working culture. Lockdown has forced many organisations to realise the benefits of achieving a remote-friendly one. But to achieve the latter, you need to aspire to be remote-first.

A remote-first culture can be achieved through detecting and removing obstacles in four areas: physical, personal, work and leadership.

Overcome Physical challenges

The physical is the area that can be managed: internet connections, microphones, headphones, hardware, software and some remote-first organisations even offer childcare policies or home help for those with family responsibilities.

Overcome Personal challenges

The personal can be learned and practiced: how to manage your time, your energy and mental well-being. Even though at CLP we were a very remote-friendly company even before lockdown, we have had a steep learning curve as we rapidly moved to a remote-first culture. As with many companies we over committed to Zoom and realised fairly quickly we needed to lessen our reliance on video meetings. Remember, not all calls need to be video calls.

We also quickly understood we needed to manage the balance between part-time and full-time employees especially when it came to time management within virtual meetings. Whilst using some of the time to catch up with colleagues was important, part-time employees who were on strict time limits needed our meetings to be as succinct as possible in order to get the work done.

Overcome Work challenges

Virtual work challenges can be overcome too: how to communicate, how to prioritise, how to structure virtual meetings and how to delegate. At CLP, during the lockdown we quickly realised we had to focus on how critical information travelled around the company to ensure everyone was informed and to stop any lags in information sharing. Also what happens when information is shared spontaneously, in an informal chat? We utilised many different channels to overcome this challenge – WhatsApp, email, Slack and Monday.com (a project management tool).

Overcome Leadership challenges

And lastly, is the virtual leadership style: do we empower too much or too little in the virtual world; are we too little operational or too little strategic? To virtually lead you need to be a visionary and motivated leader who likes to self-reflect and drive personal and organisational change.

As we understand the need and urgency to discuss and support you in starting the process of evolving into a remote-first culture, we are hosting an online classroom experience on this topic on July 22nd. Click here to read more about it and to get your tickets.

We are also hosting July’s PRIME TIME on the topic of “How to create a remote-first culture”. PRIME TIME is a 30 minute virtual exchange where we discuss a pre-defined leadership topic and share ideas, approaches and solutions. This month we will have our virtual exchange every Tuesday, 10:30-11:00 CET. If you’d like to join us, or read more about the format or concept, please click here

We look forward to seeing you.

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