How will we be working in 2023 – the hyper-growth of Remote work
Remote or Hybrid, what are the challenges? There was a discussion in Sweden, by a BCG Report in Di.se that remote work should be forbidden as it has a negative influence on a company. There is a debate about remote and hybrid work going on in Sweden.
I listened to Johanna Sylvander and Evelina Prodanova PhD from Remote work, who held a presentation on the hyper-growth of Remote work. This is what I captured on how you can make a remote organisation work.
The talks were hosted by Sveriges HR Förening (Swedish HR Association). CEO Lena Bjurner's findings are that the clock will not be able to 'clock back’ and no size fits all. The new era is a learning curve, and the leadership needs to create a culture to make it work hybrid. Learning and developing is painful.
At the beginning of the session, the audience was asked these 2 questions. You will see the outcome in %.
How is the situation where you work now, regarding remote working?:
What would you prefer?:
One of the benefits of remote work is flexibility. It gives you more flexibility when recruiting, as you can reach more talents in a wider geographical area.
“You can’t expect to bake a cake without the right ingredients”
Evelina Prodanova, PhD: “There is no the best. Focus on what people want, why they want it and how to make it work. It is time for all of us to move away from "we have always done it this way.”
Remote work opens so many doors in many countries. People will always choose what is best for them, based on their personal preferences. The conversation needs to ship. Leaders need to lead these conversations.
(Various sources, Gartner eg.)
16% of companies worldwide are 100% remote
44% of companies do not allow remote work of knowledge workers
85% of managers believe that remote teams will work.
There is a demand for remote work and it is here to stay. When recruiting, you could have these figures in mind:
For example, in Germany, a marketing role that was advertised pre-pandemic was 10% remote working, now it is 39%.
A survey from ‘Glassdoor workplace trends 2023’, says you get 10 x more applicants if you advertise a remote job opportunity.
When candidates are considering a job offer nowadays, the top three of the top five considerations are remote work, flexibility and then salary.
Another interesting finding from a survey that Remote (Remotes tech talent Shortage report) did is that:
24% of Swedish companies can not find the right tech talents
16% of Swedish companies are looking for talents outside Sweden.
Why are companies not doing this?
During this event, they ran a poll in the audience on "Have you ever considered hiring someone from abroad?", the outcome was:
69% consider hiring someone from abroad
10% never thought about it
So, how do you run a remote work culture? Here are 5 pillars to consider:
- Values Alignment (you need a culture based on values)
- Building trust and belonging (when you hire people, you need to trust them)
- Working async in full transparencies (document everything, make recordings of meetings, so people from different time zones can access all information)
- Be intentional and people first
- Compensation and benefits (geo benefits)
To really understand what belonging and trust mean, it is true you make easier contact when you meet people in person but that does not mean you cannot trust them.
Look at what people do: measure performance and results, not when they do things. Create ‘safe’ work at the preferred time of each person. This gives people the freedom to decide when they are the most productive. Some might prefer to work in the morning, while others perform better in the evening.
Time management is key here! Remote (the company) speaks about 'life-work balance’, personal life is always first. We all have things outside work which we all understand and need to consider. It is important to take time off when people need to and it should be fine.
Belonging is how people feel in an organisation. You can make a social connection even if it is through a screen.
The flexibility that comes with remote working is that you can work in the time zone you feel most efficient.
This will also be beneficial to increase diversity, It allows people to be themselves and work in diverse teams. The productivity is higher, data shows. People get things done when they want.
“Everyone is EQUAL in a remote environment”
How do you make it work in different time-zone?
Documentation is important, so people can access the information in different time zones. And make the information as public as possible within the company. The key thing to a hybrid and remote environment is open communication. And it is important to listen to people, be open in your feedback and create a feedback culture. What works for you, what does not, and how can we make it work?
Compensation and benefits: you can benefit from the geo ranges, some countries need more pay than others. This will give opportunities for talent in all countries, also in countries where there are fewer ‘highly skilled’ opportunities.
What about loneliness and isolation? Good point, one needs to be mindful of this and mindfully schedule social times with the teams.
One of the pitfalls of the pandemic when people were forced to work from home and remotely, is that the 'work never ends'. The companies can be mindful of this and give training on time management, so support from the organisation is very important.
Key takeaways from this session are:
- Create a remote strategy
- Trust and listen, hold people accountable to your culture
- Put a lot of emphasis on transparency and documentation
- Train managers to manage remote teams
- Set clear goals and give trust to reach the goals
Are you open to recruiting for hybrid or remote roles? We can assist you with the recruitment of internationally experienced talents.
Karin Björkman, Founder at Beyondo