How to Leverage Working Remotely to Get Better Results
From Baby Boomer CEO to Millennial Manager, here are three different perspectives and strategies for navigating this coveted work perk.
What’s your ideal work environment style?
Remote working isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept. Neither is spending all work time in the office. Today’s workers fall into these work environment styles to add the most value to their companies. No category is better or worse than another, and it will only benefit companies to listen and accommodate:
- The Office Worker: They can’t imagine getting anything done at home or anywhere outside the office and place a distinct mental separation between their home life and their work life.
- The Remote Worker: They thrive anywhere but the office – either their coworkers can be distracting, or they work best individually, both of which can be challenging with the rise of collaborative workplaces
- The Hybrid Worker: They fall somewhere in between, usually due to different types of responsibilities in their roles that come with different ideal workspace characteristics and preferences.
3 Multi-Generational Team Perspectives
Tresa Dalton, Director of Marketing:
As a millennial manager, I understand the appeal for my team members to work remotely. This ability will continue to evolve over the next decade and it is important to figure out how to hold everyone accountable. Everyone thrives in their own type of environment. Some work best at a corporate office and others work best sitting at a coffee house on the beach. For me in a creative role, I like to find a hybrid balance between the two.
Our marketing team recently spent the afternoon working remotely, but together. It allowed us to explore our creative minds further and collaborate in a new way. Working remotely doesn’t hinder your communication skills – but instead amplifies them. You learn how to communicate on a more thorough and efficient level from your emails, to your phone calls.
Holding people accountable can be a constant struggle whether you are working in an office or remotely. While working remotely can create these accountability challenges, there are multiple tactics that you can implement. As a manager, you need to be able to track the progress of ongoing projects. How do you get your team on board? Try collaborating with them on creating what your team accountability plan looks like. By allowing everyone to have a voice in the accountability discussions, everyone wants to go above and beyond their part to do their part.
Sarah Mammen, Creative Services Manager:
My creative role puts me in The Hybrid Worker style. My career hinges on generating new ideas and strategies for our brand. I love what I do, but creativity isn’t a 9 to 5 job, and is sometimes supercharged and inspired by the world around us.
Most days I thrive in the office setting. I collaborate with our marketing team, enjoy being around my coworkers, and have the luxury of being able to shut the door to our office when I need to be 100% focused. Yet some days, I need a change of environment to boost the idea flow and efficiency. McKinney allowing me the freedom to work remotely when I need to is a privilege – and out of appreciation for them, I’m actually even more conscientious of my workday productivity on days that I work from home. I also enjoy the flexibility to work when I am at my best – no matter what time that may be. On design projects, I typically work better as a night owl, and for blog posts like this one, I work the best right when I wake up.
The freedom to work remotely will set those with integrity apart in the workplace. It’s the ultimate test. Isn’t it better for companies to understand who they can trust to get things done – even when nobody’s micromanaging?
Damian McKinney, President & CEO:
I appreciate that being able to work remotely when needed provides the opportunity for people who work at McKinney who otherwise would not be able to. You have to hire the right people who do not wait to be held accountable but hold themselves accountable and understand the freedom it provides. The ability to work remotely will be the norm more often than not going forward, but I would find it challenging to maintain a culture if people spent more time apart than together at our company.
In order to be receptive to customers’ needs, the ability to work remotely will enhance the level of service we can provide for our clients. For example, I was on a conference call today. All four people on the call were with their families for the holidays in four different states. There is no way we could have been responsive to a very time-sensitive issue today if we hadn’t been available via our smartphones and laptops.
Our Strategies for Employees & Managers to Keep Accountability On Track:
- Daily Check-Ins: Set 2-3 check-ins throughout the day to regroup on what projects team members are working on. For supervisors, multiple check-ins could feel like you are micromanaging or take time away from your day. But in reality, it can save you time. When you have scheduled check-ins on the phone, you decrease the possibility of a project not getting to where it needs to be.
- Task-Management Software: Use a task management software to track all projects. At our office, we use Basecamp which allows us to task one another, see what others are working on, and collaborate on discussion boards.
What is work environment style your best fit? We would love to hear your thoughts on this evolving workplace trend!