As the coronavirus pandemic has forced companies and employees to adopt remote work, both managers and their teams are beginning to realize just how drastic of a change full-time telecommuting is.
Many companies have allowed employees to work remotely for years, and many employees are used to working from home as often as once or twice a week. Unfortunately, these practices don’t come close to emulating a full-time, company-wide work from home mandate.
Most who are unfamiliar with full-time remote work tend to view organization and communication as central challenges. You can find plenty of content online that provides advice on staying organized and motivated while working from home, and the number of articles discussing the effective use of Zoom, Slack, and other workplace communication tools have skyrocketed.
These issues loom large and must be reckoned with, but people often overlook the less apparent and often more fundamental changes they will need to make in order to work effectively from home.
Beyond issues of routine and the migration of meetings to videoconferencing, lots of people assume that functionally, not much will change in their role when working remotely. If teams do the vast majority of their work on the computer and have the same weekly meetings on their calendars, why would they expect their existing strategy to stop being effective?
Although it does vary from role to role, this assumption is usually incorrect – successful and efficient remote work requires more than a motivated team and the migration of business-as-usual meetings to video conferencing.
In fields like marketing and design, remote work often requires a more fundamental re-thinking of how team members communicate and structure their day-to-day, since deliverables are more abstract and subjective.