Years ago, remote work was unheard of.
“Work” originated in factories, so the idea you could work from home was impossible.
Then desktop computers came. But they weighed as much as a small country, so we couldn’t bring them home.
But now we have laptops. Smartphones. And the game has changed.
So much so, that Atlassian’s work futurist Dominic Price believes remote work “may” be the future.
I had the pleasure of speaking to Dominic on my podcast recently, where he revealed how we can implement remote work, so that your staff don’t “take the mick” and still work efficiently.
Leadership Tips: How To Get Remote Working Right
Dominic recounted a story from a fearful executive I’ve heard too many times before.
“I was working with the CIO recently…they were about to roll out a flexibility plan for people to work remotely. And in the flexibility policy, he wanted to say that they couldn’t work from home on a Monday or a Friday,” Dominic recounted.
“And I said to him, ‘Why?’ And he’s like: ‘Well, clearly if someone works from home on a Monday or a Friday they’re taking the mick, they’re not actually working.'”
Dominic knew there was a bigger problem at play.
“Right, that’s nothing to do with the capability of technology and you hiring smart people. That’s all to do with your lack of trust for your people,” he said, challenging the CIO.
So how can you trust your staff? How do you know they’re actually working and not just Netflix and billing?
Dominic says it’s down to four things:
- The technology you use
- The people you have
- The practices you employ, your ways of working (culture)
- Your physical environment
“Those four things together create your culture, your way of working …it’s just funny that most organizations pick one of them and massively over-index on it and just assume the other ones will turn up,” Dominic said.
“And I think the best organizations try to understand all four of those and make sure that they are congruent. Make sure that if they hire smart people who want to work remotely, that their practices enable those people to flourish in that environment.”
But the only way you can do this is by having the drive and curiosity yourself as a leader. This will filter down to your staff.
Dominic says he sees too many leaders make it to a senior position, then not bother to reinvent themselves anymore. Conversely, others continue to reinvent themselves a stay relevant.
No price for guessing which one is better for your startup and culture.
“New skills, new behaviors, understanding new models, new ways of working,” Dominic recommended.
“The leaders that do that will thrive; they’ll create amazing leaders around them and great work environments. And the leaders that have a fixed way of working, ‘I’ve done this for X number of years, trust me, it always works,’ they’re the ones that will become anchors in their business and…just slow those businesses down.”
With this leadership style, in concert with the four points; remote work should be something that serves you well.