Disclaimer: This article is published in partnership with Siemens. Siemens is paying for my engagement, not for promotional purpose. Opinions are my own.
Having worked in virtual and remote environments for over 20 years, I obviously monitored with great interest the countless strategy shifts of Blue Chip and Startup companies regarding remote work over the past decades.
Always wondering why it seemed all so difficult to thoroughly implement, considering the technical progress, availability of countless tools and connectivity?
Then 2020 started and seemed to say: “Hold my beer!” and we all witnessed first-hand how the story shifted globally from “No! Never!” to “Everybody stay home!” in a wink.
Now all we “privileged” white-collar workers were able to continue working from home and had a more or less rocky time to set up tech and infrastructure (kitchen table or couch?) as well as getting used to hang out with our cohabitants partially 24/7.
We’re well aware that it’s not possible for everyone to work from home: from medical to construction or critical infrastructure and even public administration, the challenges to keep people in their jobs and the system up and running are way bigger.
I have witnessed some steep learning curves within an early stage startup that from one day to the other started hiring remotely and onboarded people into their teams from home without having any long-term experience or a fully-fledged HR team.
Or public administration, that for the first time in their lives had to deploy emergency plans that have been patiently sitting in manuals for decades. Their ongoing efforts for digitalization helped them greatly to have less disrupted services and proved to be COVID-19 compatible.
After all: Someone still has to bake your bread and run the train, right?
Work from anywhere
Much to my surprise Siemens gave the green light for a bold hybrid “work from anywhere” framework already in mid-July. Well, I did not expect Siemens to be amongst the trailblazers on this subject matter. Backing it up with tech-support and leadership empowerment.
I especially like this statement:
“…focus on outcomes rather than on time spent at the office.”Roland Busch
After setting up infrastructure and overcoming technological hurdles to get you going, there will remain one ingredient under the magnifying glass of change: the human factor!
The team dynamic will undergo a litmus test.
Managers might fear the loss of control, if they can no longer walk past your desk or see with their own eyes if you are sitting in front of your computer with a focused stare to the screen.
It might bring up hidden issues and gaps in expectations and lack of communication and/or processes to collaborate. This is why many experts suggest to rather over communicate to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Or, guess what? Some might find out that they just have a great team that continues to operate seamlessly in this major shift.
I congratulate Siemens to move ahead boldly with the “remote” decision – if you are fortunate to have a job that allows this, embrace it!
After all, we more than ever live in a VUCA world.
May the force be with you! #unlockthepotential