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)
How are work outcomes affected by the treatment of those who do it? I have been exploring this question for ~50 years. In that time, one comment stuck with me more than any other. It was made in 1998 when I interviewed a group of men in Indianapolis who had redesigned most of the US city’s waste collection and disposal operations. “We are no longer expected to park our brains at the door when we come to work.”
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