In a recent blog, I tackled the issue of teleworking, also known as working from home, or WFH. At the time, there was some debate whether the risks outweigh the benefits.
Not anymore. The coronavirus ended that debate – teleworking is here to stay.
Before the quarantine, working remotely was a back-up plan for most of us. When the virus arrived like a screaming newborn, millions of workers were stranded at home. Teleworking became our only option as we were thrust into kitchen table lockdown.
Give credit to the web conferencing companies that were overwhelmed by the tsunami of demand. Zoom’s CEO said, “We never intended to be this big. Zoom went from 10 million users to 200 million in a matter of weeks.”
What a wake-up call to companies that weren’t sold on teleworking. Now, their future lies in the hands of remote workers and their photo bombing toddlers. The result: a bold move toward a work-life balance.
Here’s My Take. Teleworking is being battle-tested on a massive scale. Companies are feeling the speed bumps of a major transformation, in real-time. Meanwhile, they’re gaining critical knowledge. Companies have a front-row seat to what works and what doesn’t. Are employees equally productive at home? Are managers as effective when working remotely? Is the job more, or less stressful? Does communication suffer?
Ultimately, working remotely is a test of trust. Can managers trust employees to do their jobs without oversight? Will employees stay engaged with all the distractions at home? Next, they’ll address any weaknesses, adjust course and learn from it.
Of course, nothing beats face time. But virtual happy hours come pretty close.