Last year research by Gartner showed that in less than 5 years, 75% of all meetings in medium-sized and large companies would be run as online meetings, compared to 40% then.
(Source: Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions paper - Gartner Group)
With the Covid-19 pandemic speeding up this process, most of us are now faced with a new workday, where we,to a greater extent, have to adjust our habits to a mixture of working in the office, at home or 'elsewhere'. To some, it may seem daunting and unwanted-"Shall we not meet again now?". Yes, but there will be fewer physical meetings and more meetings online.
This change affects the content and implementation of both these types of meetings. When we have the opportunity to meet, we put more emphasis on the social, on getting to know each other better to create the right level of trust in the group or team. The challenge people are experiencing while working from home is the difficulty of setting boundaries between work and non-work-related activities. This challenge is testing our ability to self-manage and having the right flexibility in our working day. For many of us, it is counter productive to align hours spent working from home or remotely to hours spent in the office.
This new situation requires us to break traditional and sometimes dated ways of working towards a more flexible way, focusing on tasks and deliverables, rather than counting hours worked in a day.
Dealing with this new increasingly flexible digital work day and the expectations of being available24/7 is not always easy. Technology gives us many opportunities, but where there is flexibility, there is also unpredictability. At RXP Group we are used to flexibility, allowing consultants to work where it's most appropriate. When someone has to prepare an important presentation, it makes more sense to work from home to avoid being disrupted by others. On days filled with online meetings, individuals work from home rather than occupying meeting rooms by themselves for an entire day.
RXP Group has adapted our way of working to accommodate everyone's needs and enabling everyone to participate, regardless of location, and to achieve this, online access is an obvious necessity.
To create predictability and consistency in our ways of working, we have over time developed processes and strategies supported by guides on how to be more efficient and productive. These guides help us plan and conduct typical project activities online such as meetings, stand-ups, workshops, research sessions, user interviews and testing etc. By introducing these new online processes not only have we maintained our team's productivity but in most cases, we see a growth and higher work commitment. Several studies show that employees who can choose where they work have a greater job commitment than those who have to work from home or have to work in the office.
Flexible working arrangements have shown improved productivity which positively affects business' revenue generation. Having successful flexibility policies can lead to increased employee engagement and performance.
Our Remote and Flexible Working series of articles will take you through some of the processes, methods and tools which enable us to work better as a team when delivering projects and services to our clients. There is obviously no one-size-fits-all solution, so having a level of flexibility is important so we can accommodate the different needs that clients and projects might have, such as software preferences, security, accessibility and any other relevant requirements.
Articles in this series:
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