In the wake of the coronavirus, Facebook and Twitter have announced plans to enable their entire work force to work remote. These tech companies are pioneers for a new model of work in a post coronavirus world. Companies in all industries should take note. The pandemic is forcing an accelerated adoption of remote work. Paul Daugherty, chief technology for Accenture said that “This will be an electric shock to the system. Companies are on the hook to rethink the work experience, and the work tools, for their cocooning employees”.
Most companies treat their current remote work as a temporary solution to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. This mindset needs to change. Companies need an intentional work from home model, not temporary mitigation. IT executives must reassess priorities to ensure the right IT tools are in place for their organization.
Darren Murph, head of remote at GitLab inc says “IT leaders should be setting up tools and processes as if everyone at their company is remote, with clear explanations of how tools should be used”. The focus needs to be on the employee digital experience. Network monitoring is also crucial to ensure that IT systems and applications are performing well.
This new model of sustained remote work is not all about technology. We also need to focus on employee well-being. Since the start of the pandemic, more employees are suffering from meeting fatigue. Christie Struckman of research firm Gartner Inc, states “Many employees say they are having at least double the number of meetings compared with before the pandemic”. Leaders must trust and empower employees to get work done, without micromanaging or having constant meetings.
In the coming months, we should see companies begin allowing some percentage of their work force return to the office. Hopefully, it will not be long before a vaccine is in place. Yet, it is important that company leaders not treat remote work as temporary. What is to say that a second wave of the virus will not occur? Or what if some other pandemic or external crisis hits us down the road? The future of work is here and leaders from all industries should take note from Twitter and Facebook. An intentional remote work model may be required for survival.