How to Get On Board with Working Remotely

Career Enrichment, Productivity
02/06/19 - Nicole Wood

Remote work is part of our future. Period.

In this article, I talked about how 63% of employers now have remote employees and how you can still create a strong culture even if your team is spread out.

But so many people I know are still trying to fight it. They want the butt in the chair. They want the false sense of security that accompanies keeping an eye on people. And I can tell you for certain that a physical presence does NOT mean an employee is working.

It All Comes Down To a Lack of Trust

If you don’t trust your people to get their work done no matter where they are then:

  1. You shouldn’t have hired them in the first place
  2. You as a leader have created an environment where people are motivated by the wrong things

Change isn’t easy. But the best leaders are the ones who recognize its importance and force themselves to evolve their practices even when it’s uncomfortable.

I’m a big fan of Jellyvision’s CEO, Amanda Lannert. I was listening to her speak once, and an audience member asked this question:

“I can’t stand that my employees are always on their phones in my weekly team meeting. This new generation just can’t put them down. How do you get your team members to put the phone down and focus on what you’re saying to them?”

Amanda said, “That’s a battle you won’t win. Can you make the meeting more engaging? Does it even need to be an hour-long meeting at all or can it be a 15-minute Slack frenzy?”

The audience member looked stunned and somewhat disappointed. I think she was hoping for some shared moaning and groaning about these youngsters. But instead, she got innovation. A new way to even think about how to get the job done. In my head, I gave Amanda’s response a big ole “amen!”

So we can all moan and groan about the way to the world is evolving. About people wanting to stay home and work in their sweatpants. 

We Can Embrace Remote Work

There are new ways to motivate and engage our teams. We can celebrate the positives of no commutes and flexible schedules. We can coach our team members and hold them accountable to their commitments whether they are in Baltimore or Buenos Aires. Hybrid schedules of some in-person days and some remote days can be created. We can tailor schedules to the times when people are most productive.

There will always be business objectives to accomplish, and so I’m not saying it should be a complete free for all. We still need to find times to check in, to collaborate, to have meetings. I’m simply saying it’s time to open our minds. Consider new ways to get the job done.

It’s time to evolve our thinking about remote work, or sooner or later, we will be the ones left at home.

This week’s challenge

Think about one thing you do each week that has just ‘always been done that way.’ Challenge yourself to think of a new way to approach it. Maybe the meeting can be accomplished in 20 minutes instead of 60. Perhaps a time-consuming process isn’t relevant anymore and should be tweaked or eliminated. Maybe a new technology can help you do something more efficiently. This week, really challenge yourself to evolve forward.

We know you want to learn more. Here are some of our favorite additional resources:

Related Articles

What are your professional goals? It’s a question that can make even the most seasoned professionals pause. Whether you’re just starting out or well into your career, setting professional goals is crucial. It’s about more than just climbing the corporate ladder. It’s worth taking the time to figure out your professional goals. This process is […]

Read More
woman looking at computer writing down notes in her journal

Let’s face it, no one ever teaches you how to navigate your career. At best, we get half-hearted questions like, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and “Do you know what you’re going to do when you finish school?” From there, you can try to find a mentor or hope for […]

Read More
woman working and taking notes

Do you find yourself overwhelmed by the prospect of making a career decision? Have you ever felt afraid that the wrong choice might impact your immediate future, long-term happiness, financial stability, and overall lifestyle? If so, you’re not alone. These feelings are common symptoms of a condition known as career paralysis—a state of feeling stuck […]

Read More