The Ultimate Remote Work Policy (In 3 Words)
With corona virus hitting the world, it seems impossible to open a browser or app without remote work tips being shoved down your throat. From the random corners of the internet all kinds of self-proclaimed experts share 'ideas' as if they were rocket science.
Three little words
Screw the so-called tips. The one thing you need to do well as an organization is summed up in policy that looks like this: "We trust you."
We trust you. That's all. There's nothing more to it. Support your staff in whatever it is they need and stop treating them like kids.
Remote micromanagement at work
If you're looking for a great example of what trust does not look like, here's inspiration from the Wall Street Journal...
And this is a company with highly educated journalists covering the world's most complex topics? Asking staff to let their manager know when they are about to take a dump?
The Ultimate Remote Work Policy (In 3 Words)
It becomes painfully clear we have a long way to go to turn organizations into liberated, engaging, and inspiring workplaces!
There is another approach
For positive inspiration, it's always a good idea to look at the guys and girls at Basecamp. Here's a proper approach to a crisis like this:
In other words: "We trust you".
Nothing reveals character like a crisis. As many organizations are in the midst of crisis right now, what examples (good and bad) have you come across?
Drop them in the comments below.
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"One thing I wanted to reinforce is that the health of you and your family are the primary priority here with all the actions we have asked you to take.
For those people that are scheduled to be in the office but if you feel uncomfortable travelling on public transport or you are showing any symptoms of a cold / flu or if you need to stay home to care for a person, you have my full support to work from home."
'Unfortunately anxiety is always open for business' this struck a powerful chord with me.
For all the amazing things media, social media and the web can give us including the power of communication, information and connection, I think this sentence shows what can also happen and it can be exasperated by all of these wonderful things. Keeping business messages authentic, simple, human and supportive can be a real help in tough times.
I am happy that my company trust me. All employees are receiving daily tips how to better work from home not, like from WSJ. It is no longer 9 to 5. Many of us right now staying with kids at home and have to organize a day not only around work but home schooling. I just hople that many the practices will stay in the company after epidemic. More flexible working hours, more working from home (now it is limited), less bureaucracy, less strict procedures for everything, less printing.
First of all Joost and Pim, thank you for your very inspiring book. It was long in coming but worth the wait !! :)
I think i would add 2 words and an exclamation point to your suggested ultimate work policy: "Of course we trust you!" . "I Trust You" often implies a bit of a threat: "I trust you and so you'd better not violate it or else..." Real trust is letting go of any control knowing that the person will not harm you when you are vulnerable.
again, thank you.
Hey :) I'm in France and I work for a swiss company, www.ricardo.ch. And we had exactly the same communication as Basecamp: do what you can, but your top priority is your family. No need for you to use your holidays. We will cover you even if you cannot do all your. hours.
That's so great to have this trust. It gives the employees more security and I really think it's a win-win way to do.
This is just the experience some leaders and businesses need to show them that they can embrace new ways of working and get the same or more results out of their teams. It forces the hand of those who don't trust! It could change the way some teams work for ever (and that's a good thing)
In his excellent book Brave New Work, Aaron Dignan asks whether your organisation behaves like traffic lights or roundabouts. These are two very different approaches to busy road intersections. Traffic lights have strict rules, which require no thought or judgement. You go when its green and stop when its red. Roundabouts, on the other hand, are based on agreed principles.
Work is solving other people’s problems. Most progressive companies on our Bucket List think they do that best when structured as networks of teams, rather than hierarchical pyramids. Teams in radically decentralized networks are often self-managed and highly autonomous. And these teams are often very small. They rarely consist of more than 15 people. But why are self-managed teams in these networks typically so small? There are very good reasons.
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