A simple blog on the challenges of a WFH culture:

Teams are increasingly globally distributed and rarely see each other in person, particularly under the Covid lockdown. I came up with these questions to ask yourself based on nearly ten years of working from home, working in globally distributed teams and delivering projects in this environment. I hope they are useful!

Questions to Consider:

  1. What are the priorities for company culture in these circumstances? How does it differ from the culture where most employees work in the same office?
  2. How can we create a distributed culture across nations and different functions that works?
  3. What values do people have in this work environment? Does it vary by region and role?
  4. What level of productivity are we striving for? How is this assessed? What measures encourage the best outcomes?
  5. What level of flexibility is important for individuals /departments /results?
  6. Why is this flexibility important to the company overall? What communication channels are required in these circumstances to maximise productivity?
  7. How much confusion is there around objectives or misinformation due to the disparate locations? How much time is spent resolving these?

Suggested framework for discussion to extract these perspectives:

  • Company culture definition and aspiration
  • Value aspirations and level currently embedded
  • Actual values and personality of each department
  • Leadership styles and preferences – what style would not work?
  • Nature of team dynamic and desired changes
  • Impact on budgeting and focus for priorities
  • Current communication workflows
  • Suggest using Six Sigma Fishbone diagram to highlight priority issues

Work from home part of the week changes dynamics of conversation and team work.

Questions to Consider:

  1. How does this situation change communication styles and outcomes?
  2. Do you know how this worked before with employees in the office every day?
  3. Can we look at workflows in information, processes and delivery, new ideas, developing relationships in a WFH culture?
  4. What are the variables in work patterns that will ensue for individuals and teams? Working earlier or later? Breaks? Friendships and relationships?
  5. What tools would be most effective? Does it vary by team or function?
  6. Does working from home affect productivity? If so, how? How can this be quantified or is it valued more as a benefit than the impact on productivity?

Recommended approaches:

  • Look at a mapping communication channels as an approach to identify any issues or blockers in communication.
  • Discuss working habits with different teams and establish preferences and issues in communication.

Good luck! Please find below a few of my recent blogs which may also be of interest:

Creating a culture of compassion: https://wellthoughtthrough.com/2020/09/03/creating-a-culture-of-compassion/

Emotional architecture: https://wellthoughtthrough.com/2018/11/23/emotional-architecture/

Management through kindness: https://wellthoughtthrough.com/2018/05/31/management-through-kindness/

Diversity strategy, now include please: https://wellthoughtthrough.com/2018/06/21/diversity-strategy-now-include-please/

Love Ruth x

Photo by Brian Wangenheim on Unsplash

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