Tips on Remote Working from Home (in Teams)

Work from Home and Remote Working
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Chloe Xu
Director, Australia

Tips on Remote Working from Home (in Teams)

Remote working is the practice in which employees work mainly from home or while they're underway and communicate with their company or organization by electronic means such as telephone, email and (more recently) the internet, communication apps like Skype, Whatsapp, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and mobile phones.

For organisations across the world, including government bodies at all levels, remote work seems to be the new norm. Let's collect tips and best practices here on remote working. Please share your ideas and experiences.

I'll start of with some findings on remote working in government:

REMOTE WORKING IN GOVERNMENT
How can governments be effective in this era requiring remote work? Dimson, Foote, Ludolph and Nikitas from McKinsey suggest that, apart from equipping people with ICT tools for remote working, governments need to implement new approaches of management and collaboration and adapt their culture.

Basic Tools for Remote Working
To increase the capacity of remote working, government leaders should ensure that the following basic tools are in place:
  • A COMMUNICATION INFRASTRUCTURE that all users can access.
  • A FILE-SHARING SYSTEM that has version and security control.
  • A HELPDESK that can help colleagues solve any system issues.
Virtual Work and Collaboration Approaches
Following clues can be helpful for government organisations to establish the structure, processes, and culture needed to succeed in this time of uncertainty:
  • STRUCTURE: DIVIDE TEAMS INTO SMALLER UNITS. Smaller, cross-functional teams allow the organisation to make quick decisions. To function properly and independently, each small team should however have all the necessary competencies. Meanwhile, a clear reporting structure and decision-making authority are required to facilitate intra-team discussions and inter-team communications.
  • PROCESSES: LEAD TEAMS BASED ON WEEKLY OUTPUTS AND GOALS. As teamwork goes remote, leaders should ensure the team is even more aligned with goals, actions, and timelines. More frequent and regular online meetings, clearly defined goals, and a visible working schedule are suggested.
  • CULTURE: CULTIVATE A CULTURE OF TEAM PERFORMANCE. Work remotely as an effective team calls for further investment in culture for organisations. Team leaders must prioritise culture and set team norms to promote a healthy team culture. Team members need to work out how they can feel like a team without face-to-face interactions.
High-performing government organisations play an important role in uncertain times. The suggestions above help governments to quickly adapt to remote work and keep their teams working effectively.

Let's collect as many ideas and experiences on remote working here… Please enter a reaction.

Source: Dimson, J., Foote, E., Ludolph, J. and Nikitas, C. (2020), "When Governments Go Remote", McKinsey & Company.

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