According to Omnipresent, a global employment services provider that helps companies manage the employee lifecycle in 155 countries, remote working does not automatically mean reduced meaningful communications or departmental interconnectivity. Omnipresent says it’s a matter of understanding and adapting a new corporate culture.
A study of more than 61,000 Microsoft employees during the COVID-19 pandemic found that working from home during the period led to the firm being less interconnected. It found that work was more siloed, static and offered fewer bridges between teams.
The study concluded that employees spent an average of 25% less time collaborating across groups and less time with new connections when working remotely.
Communication was also affected, with less people replacing in-person communication with video or voice calls, and more using asynchronous methods such as emails and instant messages. This can often make it more difficult for workers to convey the meaning of complex information, according to the study.
However, Irene van der Werf, Omnipresent’s People Manager says that employers need to consider remote working completely separately from previous work styles, and not try and recreate an ‘onsite’ feel. Omnipresent is a remote-first business, with no head office and employees working across 26 countries.
“This particular study may be true for Microsoft, which like most, started off with a traditional office work culture, but remote work simply cannot imitate office work in terms of culture. If companies don’t adapt to new ways of working, silos will naturally become more common.
“Siloed team dynamics have always plagued businesses and play into corporate culture. Remote work can increase the existing flaws that an on-site company had. If people didn’t already communicate well in the office, then remote work will make it more difficult especially as individuals don’t have the opportunity to bump into each other regularly.”
Omnipresent finds that avoiding this is about creating new ways of working and patterns that support a remote setting.
Here are five essentials for remote working according to remote-first Omnipresent’s van der Werf:
Note to journalists: Omnipresent operates as a fully remote business and helps hundreds of companies with their employment needs in 155 countries. It has grown from 15 to more than 130 employees since 2019, with staff working across 29 countries.
The study was published in the Journal Nature Human Behaviour, the study looked at the communication habits of 61,182 Microsoft employees between December 2019 and June 2020. The company went fully remote in March 2020.
Global employment partner Omnipresent provides client-focused, tech-enabled business solutions combined with personalized expertise to support hiring people globally. Businesses aiming to go global can hire and manage employees compliantly in more than 160 countries through the OmniPlatform, Omnipresent’s proprietary digital platform and SaaS product. Companies can easily integrate HR administrative duties, including payroll, expenses, taxes, and benefits, to let them focus on growing their business. As a fully remote company with no corporate headquarters, Omnipresent has grown from a team of two to more than 350 people distributed throughout 50+ countries worldwide since November 2019.
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