2021 Remote Working, Challenges and Opportunities
Happy 2021; we were all thrilled to finally say goodbye to 2020 and start looking forward to the next 12 months. 2020 was the most challenging year for Canada in a century. Clearly, COVID-19 has dominated our lives; however, there is a faint light at the end of the tunnel with the rolling out of vaccines around the world.
One of the many challenges is that everyone is already exhausted, stressed, bored, frustrated, and worried. The next few months maybe even more difficult than last year. Getting through the winter will be the most demanding several months for leaders and team members. 2021 will be the time for the real leaders to step up and lead their teams.
One of the many changes in 2020 was the dramatic increase in working remotely and quickly forming distributed virtual teams. Working away from the office has been an increasing trend in the last ten years. However, the arrival of COVID-19 caused an unprecedented increase in this trend.
As vaccine becomes more available and the number of infected people is reduced, a series of remote and hybrid working combinations will become available. As a leader, always show empathy, including by acknowledging our own vulnerabilities. All options must be considered, and team members should be encouraged to participate in an open and frank discussion of the future combinations.
As the combinations are evaluated, team members who may continue to work remotely must be supplied will all the necessary support to remain efficient. If some team members work in different time zones, that must also be considered. Leaders should think about office-based benefits, such as Friday lunches, coffee breaks etc. Remote based team members should be compensated for missing these team building events. Leaders must always be on the lookout for team members and themselves getting "burnt out." Vacation time must be planned, so everyone is encouraged to have a "holiday" away from work.
If you work as a team and develop different working options, 2021 will be a successful year for you and your team.
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