You couldn't shake off the mindset that required you to constantly monitor employees to ensure they were working. But then, the 2020 pandemic swept across the world, forcing us to adapt. We had to learn how to work remotely, from home. Surprisingly, we discovered untapped reserves of innovation, flexibility, and creativity that we didn't know we had.
First and foremost, we realized that our organization is not a family, but a team. This made us realize that we need to strike a balance between work and family in this new reality of home and work coexisting in the same space. It has added complexity and coordination challenges that need to be addressed. It's now essential to distinguish between work for the family and professional work.
This situation has also highlighted that professional growth is not limited to just the "C-levels," but extends to everyone in the organization. When employees are aware of their role and importance, they become equally responsible and committed. Harsh supervision is no longer necessary.
The focus has shifted from monitoring people's behavior at work to focusing on results. It's no longer about making sure people are sitting at their desks for a fixed number of hours, but about evaluating their actual output.
Each company and team needs to understand what works best for them in the current context, irrespective of past best practices. Clarity on what success means for the company is crucial in achieving good results and making work meaningful for employees.
Effective communication is the key to making this happen. Ensuring that the message is clear, consistent, and reaches everyone is paramount. We need to rethink all forms of communication and improve them in the current context, with the involvement and understanding of everyone.
The important aspect is to not fall back into old habits that have been proven unnecessary or ineffective once the pandemic constraints are lifted. Instead, we should embrace the changes and create a new future that is adaptable to the reality of generating value from the work done, rather than simply ensuring people are in their jobs.