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Remote work challenges: how HR can support change?

Remote work challenges and other disruptions brought by the Covid-times are forcing us to re-think the work life entirely. Our old habits of working at the office daily has been transformed now to something else completely. The companies should create good remote working experience and environment for their employees. Moreover, they need to monitor and measure the wellbeing and enthusiasm of their employees and re-invent casual break-times.

Tietoisku

How to overcome remote work challenges?

Taru From, a senior consultant from Accountor spoke at the HR executive Nordic event about overcoming remote work challenges. Studies shows us that more than one million Finnish employees have been working remotely. The level of remote working is believed to be similar for the other Nordic countries.

Now is the time for the Nordic countries to accelerate our knowledge and our skills and claim our part in the world.” Taru From recommends.

Time to overcome remote work challenges: Watch the presentation by Taru From at HR Executive Nordic

When the world is changing, need for in-depth insights is real

HR professionals should look further and acquire in-depth insights how the future will be for work life. The times when employees will go to the offices daily are in the past now.

Discussions with leaders and HR professionals reveal that there still are companies thinking the Covid situation is temporary and it is possible to revert to the old ways of working. Nevertheless, there are numerous companies which are already working remotely, on different time zones. However, companies are aspiring to find their own way toward a hybrid working environment.

Now is the perfect possibility to find out how our future will be like for us. In order to find the best ways of working for individual companies, it is essential to understand and clarify the company's vision and strategy.  The appropriate working habits can be achieved by analyzing and developing those, and then lead the change toward transformation. 

Work life study gave us interesting results

Accountor conducted Work life study on August 2020. At the time of the study we asked employees about their feelings, their motivation, and their experiences in the Finnish work life.

Findings from the work life study showed us that the change wasn’t so excessive. One major difference was that the interviewees said they felt less stressed and less frustrated. However, the participants also expressed feelings of discouragement.  Enthusiasm, which is the fundamental element of contribution and productivity for work, stayed on the same levels as before.

How to measure employee experience?

To gain deeper insights employees experiences, surveys and reviews ought to be conducted possibly even on weekly basis. Accountor has a weekly measurement process tool Focus Pulse where we evaluate:

  • productivity
  • community
  • co-working
  • overall work satisfaction
  • work life balance
  • how all the tools work
  • how people get support from the team or team lead

Acquiring above mentioned information on weekly basis provides us an excellent opportunity to inquire about employee experiences, to address problems and to accelerate the well progressing matters.

“I am even thinking that maybe if you adapt this kind of measure, you might be able to predict the future, which would be very nice for HR lead.“ From says.

Focus on self-management and high level of enthusiasm

Self-managing as a management model works remarkably well, if a common vision is shared, and everyone has clear inspirational goals to aim for, and the team members are highly active. High activity is based on internal motivation, and motivation is encouraged by self-management.

The enthusiasm and direction are the fundamental elements for the out-standing customer experiences, and the success and the results of the companies.

“Individual enthusiasm is really the core of everything”, says From, because in people business, the people are everything.

If employees manage combine high level of enthusiasm and have clear goals to aim for, the outcomes and results will be excellent. However, if you are working at home and do not have clear objectives the results are negative.

Organizations and communities: Don'ts and Dos

dont do this if you want to perform well

When working with high performing team certain actions should be avoided:

- build silos for different departments
- maintain top to bottom decision making
- use processes with bottlenecks in them
- have no clear goals to aim for
do this if you want to perform well

When operating with high performance team certain actions are needed:

+ create common goals aligned with customer promise
+ design working together practices together
+ focus on information sharing and participation activities

Now is the time for the Nordic countries to accelerate our knowledge!

According Taru From, the Nordic countries are culturally very similar. We tend to be more community oriented, and not overly self-sustained. We don’t think how well I perform, instead we consider how the team performs together. The Nordics have natural way of observing how our partners, teammates, or colleagues or even the lead, are doing and trying to support everybody toward success.

The United Nations conducts the World Happiness Survey report every other year, and the Nordic countries are present on the top how happy people are.

When we look at the studies, the Nordic countries already have the independency, the self-esteem and the self- management style needed while working remotely.  

“Now is the time for the Nordic countries to accelerate our knowledge and our skills to claim our part in the world.” sums From.  

Coffee, anyone?

We have a special coffee break culture in Finland and in Sweden. Maybe a re-invention and new ideas are needed now to re-define “Fika”.

What our coffee break will be in the future? Will it be a running meeting group, or just a talking and chatting group meeting while drinking coffee?

Kahvihetki toimistolla

How does your leadership framework look like?

Taru From gives an example what company’s leadership framework should include:

  • having clear objectives
  • Challenge the silos
  • Cultural transformation
  • Working together
  • Enhancing digital tools
  • Transparent tracking
Työskentelyä koneen äärellä

What will the future hold?

The HR leads have now a great opportunity to find out the best and most versatile methods of working for their companies. The need for cultural change and leadership transformation is especially high at the moment. Moreover, it is essential to build additional ways to co-working.

We at Accountor have investigated and worked with many projects to improve and increase agility. We have compiled several excellent case studies such as the transformations of company culture and the change leadership. There will certainly be more of this type of projects in the future.

Taru From sums everything by quoting president Joe Biden: ”We are one team. People do not work for us, we work for people. They pay my salary. They put their faith in you. I put my faith in you. We have an obligation. Govern by collegiality and treat each other with respect. If not I will fire you on the spot.”

This article is based on Taru From’s presentation at HR Executive Nordic on 27th of January 2021 about Overcoming Remote Work Challenges.

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