That’s a popular question that managers and workers have dissimilar opinions on.
We’ve had a full year and counting to weigh in on this question, and what’s surfacing is still more questions. While many remote workers love the concept, others find it less stimulating. Managers and others in supervisory roles see the pros and cons of the remote working concept. But the one question that most managers would like to have a rock solid answer to is whether remote workers are truly as committed and engaged as their counterparts who show up in person in the office.
The question of trust springs to mind when managers have doubts about their workers. It doesn’t seem likely that employers would hire people they cannot trust. Surely, that must be a priority in the screening process. After all, if a trusted employee understands what’s expected and fulfills the role of that job, why should it matter if they are remote or onsite?
Some managers worry that workers are less motivated when working remotely and yet so many workers say how they feel more empowered and much more effective in their work. Perhaps what this ‘new work norm’ has shown more clearly is that there are other ways to lead and manage that are different (and perhaps better) than ‘old school’ methods.
In a control-centric culture, the old school methods are more accepted; however, as the entire working world adapts more to simply getting the job done, perhaps where you do it matters less.
It’s doubtful the work environment will ever be like it was pre-pandemic. Workers have had the opportunity to test themselves and their job demands in an unprecedented way. Many workers are so changed by the freedom of working remotely they are considering changing jobs to access that very factor.
The flexibility of working offsite has many advantages that workers may not be willing to forego so easily. Perhaps some type of hybrid model giving workers the flexibility of working some two or three days from home will end up being an accepted solution.
Modernizing management styles is now incumbent upon business leaders. It has been proven over the last 18-plus months that workers can continue to get the work done. And more than that, now having a taste of what it feels like to work unencumbered by long commutes and traffic jams, workers will have more of a say about ‘how they work’ going forward.
There are also some remote work advantages that business owners can readily realize. Less real estate and lower capital investments in equipment and furniture frees up their buying power to reinvest in the business. Surely that’s not a bad thing.
We’re really past the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality that has engulfed work cultures for far too long. While many will hold fast to the importance of the age-old theorem of ‘showing up and being seen’, the more transitional, forward thinkers will press on to make the case otherwise.
And on the subject of hustle…
Let’s face it. As far as ‘hustle’ goes, you either have it or you don’t. Hustle is not something you can teach someone. If they don’t have the inner motivation to want to achieve, they likely will not. So the best advice to the doubting bosses of old school management is this. Hire the people with the skills and the hustle in the first place. Then show them the respect of allowing them to make their own choices and get the job done in their own, professional style.
Witmer Group supports the many advantages of remote working, having built a solid digital marketing company that’s just over 10 years old working entirely with remote workers who are trusted, skilled professionals who know how to get the job done. For tips on what works, contact us.