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Overcoming cultural challenges related to remote work

9 minute read
Research has proven that there is an increase in remote work rates even in the government sector. In a 2019 survey of the local government workforce, Flexible working hours have been shown to be a strength in recruitment and employee retention efforts.
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The topic of remote work has been at the top of the most talked about topics in the workplace recently, We have seen a greater turnout in the past days and weeks. You'll no doubt be upset if you learn that your line manager has talked to your colleague about the possibility of working remotely and hasn't touched on the topic with you yet. We can use the study conducted by organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry earlier this year on bias against remote employees. The study included 753 employees who work remotely, 78% said their colleagues working in the office feel resentful of working remotely.

Research has proven that there is an increase in remote work rates even in the government sector. In a 2019 survey of the local government workforce, Flexible working hours have been shown to be a strength in recruitment and employee retention efforts.

You are no doubt wondering why entities are reluctant to put forward the idea of remote work, especially if you work like me in human resources management departments for some time (whether in the private or government sector). The answer to this question lies in the culture of the entity in which you work. For example, Your organization may do whatever is required of it and adhere to government policies but lacks employee development programs and this reflects the culture on which it is based. Here, It should be clarified that the culture of the organization is not limited to organizing informal events or setting a specific dress code for Saturdays, for example; the concept of organizational culture expresses regular communication with employees of all categories and not only those who are seen as "key" employees.

Have we started talking about remote work now because we are forced to? Will it take a global COVID-19 crisis for employers to wonder how to continue to work to serve the public? It seems to me so. Let's go over the reasons why they dismiss the idea before. Remote employees seem out of control, The ability to manage their affairs is significantly reduced. It is also difficult to maintain constant communication with employees remotely and follow up on their performance. In short, The line manager has a hard time keeping them under surveillance.

Next comes communication challenges, which are more predictive of the line manager's weak oversight. When asked about remote employees who have been called back to work in their offices due to the failure of the remote work program, They said they hadn't received any kind of communication from their line manager for months or even many years. Finally, We touch on the shortcomings. From ink bottles to photocopiers and printers capable of printing thousands of documents, all the supplies and resources we need to get things done are in the office. Our offices are therefore equipped to meet what we need to be suitable job sites.

The more we delve into the reasons, the more compelling motivations we will come up with that lead us to focus on remote work. If employees are away from the work site, It is our responsibility to find the right way to bridge the communication gap and measure their performance in each task. We also have the technologies to create different communication channels and determine the time required for each task performed.

On the other hand, Research has shown that employee productivity lasts for 3 out of 8 working hours. If we are not productive in our usual work, So why do employers expect higher productivity from remote employees?

If the line manager cannot maintain a permanent channel of communication with remote employees, Let's ask them to return to the office within a week and then work to figure out the reasons behind the lack of communication between the two parties. Let's talk about a fundamental point that we may face the biggest challenge in dealing with.

We have to make plans and strategies that make us ready to work remotely. This includes distributing questionnaires to employees, conducting benchmarking with similar entities and companies, and working in an experimental manner for a period of time so that we can answer all questions before we go to remote work in times of need. Our role here is to train officials and employees and provide them with appropriate social intelligence skills, We cannot send them home and expect outstanding performance from them. If we notice that the required level of performance is not achieved in a timely manner, We can have serious dialogues to look at the reasons for this, as serious dialogues are the basis for reaching a clearly defined system of work.

Our discussion is also supported by a Gallup study that revealed that employees who spend time outside the traditional workplace do not feel a lack of communication and interaction. They are improving their performance. Thus, we conclude that flexibility at work enhances employee interaction and engagement.

Source: GOVLOOP. (March 19, 2020)-- https://www.govloop.com/the-elephant-in-the-room-overcoming-communication-culture-problems-when-teleworking/

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