If there's one thing that's certain, COVID-19 has completely changed the way we work in almost every industry and across the entire globe.
Businesses both large and small have had to adopt remote working - and with this, a number of unique challenges such as navigating video calling, remote team meetings, and ensuring 'water cooler' conversations are not lost from the culture of collaborative businesses.
It has been identified that with remote working, '5 levels of home working maturity' have evolved. So where do you sit?
Level 1: No deliberate action
At this stage, you're almost at pre-COVID levels. There has been nothing deliberately done by the business to enable or support remote working. Employees are just expected to somehow keep the ball rolling, be accessible via phone or e-mail, and occasionally dial in for urgent meetings. However, they will be expecting to do most of their work when they return.
Level 2: An online version of the office
Most businesses have at least made it to level 2. Employees have created a virtual version of the office using videoconferencing software (such as Teams or Zoom) and are using some kind of instant messaging software (e.g Slack) and e-mail.
This level does also still include some office bad habits appearing virtually, such as too many people being invited to video calls when not required, numerous interruptions flooding through, and the supercharged checking (and responding) to e-mails that is familiar from everyday working life.
Level 3: Evolving and adapting
By level 3, businesses are starting to think about how to evolve better to efficient virtual working and its unique challenges, rather than just recreating the office online. They are using shared documents, such as Google Doc, to ensure meetings have clear and transparent notes. Employees have better equipment, such as background noise-cancelling microphones. Written communication has improved, calls are few and far between as a result, and meetings are only held if absolutely necessary.
Level 4: Asynchronous Communication
Asynchronous means 'out of sync' - meaning that by this level, teams are working on an 'I'll do this task when it works for me' rather than trying to be in sync with everyone else. This means better individual time management and productivity.
Level 5: Nirvana
This is where your team has managed to work better online than it ever could in the office. There's more emphasis on the environment design, rather than on the culture or physical environment.
Which are you?
There's something for everyone in each of the levels, but certainly lots of food for thought in ways to evolve and progress. Have you decided which level you're at?