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How’s that WFH Working Out for You?

I was on a video conference call the other day. Like they always are, before the actual start, participants engaged in chit-chat. We’ve all been there. You know. The weather. The multi-million dollar contract of some professional athlete we all love to hate. However, the small talk on this particular call centered on chairs. Each person had a complaint about what they were sitting in while working from home (WFH) due to COVID-19. I thought if their desk chairs are all they’re complaining about, good for them. Their heads are probably in a better place than many others. What had me thinking that way were the early findings of a research study conducted late last year by a top tech industry analyst firm. So pre-pandemic.

By: Gal Rimon, Founder & CEO, Centrical

How’s that WFH Working Out for You?

I was on a video conference call the other day. Like they always are, before the actual start, participants engaged in chit-chat. We’ve all been there. You know. The weather. The multi-million dollar contract of some professional athlete we all love to hate. However, the small talk on this particular call centered on chairs.

Each person had a complaint about what they were sitting in while working from home (WFH) due to COVID-19. I thought if their desk chairs are all they’re complaining about, good for them. Their heads are probably in a better place than many others.

What had me thinking that way were the early findings of a research study conducted late last year by a top tech industry analyst firm. So pre-pandemic.

The study looked at remote work preferences among 7,000 employees of companies in China, France, Germany, India, Singapore, the UK, and the US. The country with the highest preference for working from home was the US, nearly double that of the next country.

I saw this as suggesting a couple of things. First, in comparison to the other nations, the US has a higher percentage of full-time WFH employees. And, second, for reasons I can only speculate about, Americans, at least at the end of 2019, really liked the idea of working from home.

Since office-based work is the preference, and likely the norm, for a large majority of the people who participated in the survey I reviewed, their adjustment to ongoing WFH may not be anywhere near as seamless as my conference call cohorts. The ones who complained about their uncomfortable desk chairs.

It also made me realize that managers of teams that operate on a cross-border basis need to recognize that each member is not going to react to the transition to WFH the same way as any other teammate. Add to the challenges of different living situations, family types and sizes, plus the influence and impact of the culture of work in a given country, and it becomes abundantly clear how critically important it is for managers to keep close tabs on each member of their teams.

I understand that some managers oversee teams that live across many time zones. It’s something I can relate to very well as I’m based in Israel and conducting business across five continents. There are times when it may be necessary for you to get up at 2 in the morning to see how one of your employees is doing.

There are methods to allow you to get the sleep you deserve and still effectively monitor and manage your team. In addition, these systems can also help employees not only learn how to make the transition to WFH but let them quickly and easily learn new skills that a change in your company’s priorities has literally forced.

In this time of crisis, the notion of implementing a system to keep employees engaged, motivated, training and managed would seem worth a quiet, brief chuckle. Implementing something would probably take months. And by then, we’d hope, this dreadful pandemic would have been dealt with and our lives would return – as much as possible – to what it was before COVID-19.

However, there is something that does that and more. In fact, it can be up and running in less than one week. It’s Centrical Connect. And it offers cross-channel, bi-directional communications, recognition, and engagement mechanisms as well as easy to deploy remote reskilling programs.

To learn more, click here.

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