Distance or distancing.  Rethinking remote work in the new office.

Distance or distancing. Rethinking remote work in the new office.

Dear followers, today we publish a small opinion article on social distance and emotional distancing, a reflection on the risks and opportunities of teleworking.

Much has been written about what the new normal will look like with two factors in everyone’s mind. How deep will the economic recession be or how long will the social distancing be.

Distance or distancing? It is one thing to maintain a prudent distance to avoid possible contagion, and another to distance oneself socially. But paradoxically we confuse them! Or is it that psychologically in the end we don’t make the distinction?

Does fiscal distance cause us emotional distancing?

Does fiscal distance cause us emotional distancing?
The gurus of the future claim that teleworking has come to stay. Quick conclusion to add the fact that many people will prefer telecommuting and the cost advantages this could entail for companies. But who wants it more? Employees or companies? And how healthy is it? Where is the optimal balance? We offer you a little reflection on the risks and opportunities of teleworking, how we keep our distance without emotional distancing.

Is comfort a relevant enough reason?

Today, many people may be more concerned about the stability of their work than about the convenience or not of telecommuting. It is true that working from home is more comfortable, it allows you to reconcile family life, disconnect from rumors, the “gossips” of work, even have more privacy to be able to advance projects without being disturbed every quarter of an hour. The number of collaborative work tools only grows, slack, trello, ashana to name just a few.

But we should be careful, if we think of a telework almost full time, this could create loneliness, and the loss of something as important as feedback. I am of the opinion that feedback and advice from others are crucial factors in accompanying the learning of new skills or fueling the growth of future positions of responsibility. Without feedback there is no lasting learning. I wonder if I would be able to decide today or recommend promotions without having personal contact? Do we place more trust in numbers or people?

Remote Work can also create stress and burn out.

Remote Work can also create stress and burn out.
We may not think about it today, but teleworking can also create stress and burn out. Teleworking also has its risks.

01. How far does our self-demand go?

The first risk: we take work home. It’s getting harder to disconnect, and we can fall into the trap of being available 24/7. Conscious workers will want to do 8 hours or more of effective work, which means more real dedication in time and effort. The limit is no longer the schedule but where we put the self-demand.

02. Who will give me security and recognition?
The second risk is the lack of human interaction. I think it’s a factor that can increase anxiety, due to lack of connection or personal relationship with your superiors. It can create episodes of uncertainty about the quality of our work and even about its continuity. Lack of human interaction also reduces a reward as cheap and important as private or public recognition

03. Are managers ready to lead remote teams?
The third could be excessive control by the company. Excessive control can send our privacy, Are we willing to be controlled by the time we are in front of the computer or which web pages we visit, and when do we do it?

04. Do we have the right metrics to evaluate remote working?
The fourth risk factor, if the company trusts us (probably most cases), is that the follow-up is very likely to be based on results. We run the risk of creating an even more elitist, colder society, where it only matters what result you make, no matter how you do it, increasing short-term incentives.

05. Are we ready to work outside of body communication?
Fifth factor. Video conferencing is not natural. They ask us for more attention and concentration. One reason is that we miss one of the most important parts of language; body language. The more we pay attention, the more tired we become.

How do we integrate teleworking so as not to lose our humanity?

distància distanciament riscos oportunitats teletreball

Technology is safe, it is sterile, and it is neither good nor bad. It opens us up to a range of magnificent possibilities that can empower the self-employed, disintermediate the world’s major oligopolies, gain quality of life or, conversely, increase supervision, facilitate dismissal, or reduce the quality of life of employees. How it is implemented will depend on the temperament of each company. I am convinced that human beings are genuinely social animals. We cannot see healthily without contact. It would be great to be able to telework partially, and it’s likely that if we do it right, it will increase both performance as well as family reconciliation, and overall employee satisfaction. I think a balance is needed, because without a social approach, the company can lose part of its humanity.

All in all, I’m not so sure if teleworking has come to stay or not. But if I see it as possible that it is a benefit or reward that employees will have to earn on the basis of trust.

Article publicat al diari d’Andorra , el passat 19 de juny,

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