Reetta Rajala: Are your people also pushing to be brave?

For knowledge workers, working completely remotely has been going on for few months now and looks like it isn´t going to change in the very near future. During these times, we at CCEA have worked completely remotely, supported our clients (e.g. SGroup) in making remote work more fluent and sustainable as well as followed up a large number of our clients in our projects. At first glance it looks like working remotely is going fine in organizations, there are tools and guidelines and people don´t seem to mind that much.

But what reveals when we look at the situation a bit deeper? 

The load caused by working constantly remotely can be hidden

A closer look makes everything look different: Work and free time get mixed up, constant physical distance from the work community causes isolation and loneliness, virtual meeting streaks are exhausting, news about the economy are eating the sense of security etc. The sense of control in own work is decreasing and stress builds up. Difficult situations are harder to lead virtually.

The problem is not in the guidelines or technology but, as always, in the change of people’s behaviour – in how to manage own work and adjust leadership routines to continuing remote work. This is a change in the ways of working, also for people used to working remotely over the years.

The load caused by working constantly remotely can be hidden; many are pretending to be braver than they actually are – they just have to keep going. Stress signals are seen with delay and they are harder to recognise behind the screen. Once the signals are visible, the situation can already be very difficult.

How to success in working from home?

After observing the situation a while, we created a remote work measurement service, which can be set up quickly, based on our pioneer product, Celkee Insight Perception Measurement. With the measurement service it is easy to spot the weak signals and support your organization proactively where needed – even before the signals of stress are starting to show.

We have added the Accelerated path to sustainable remote ways of working to our services. This consists of a starting poll, few webinars, material packages and link library. The basis of the service is to approach working remotely from a people, not technology, point of view. How with small concrete actions and chancing own behaviour and routines both team leaders and team members can make working remotely more productive and pleasant.

Changing ways of working and routines to remote ways of working starts with small everyday things: how to rhythm the day, how to be available for team members and colleagues, how to maintain sense of community and how to have productive meetings. It is important to look at things holistically: remote workday, remote meetings, leading teams remotely and remote ideation. It is certainly not enough that Teams or Google Meet and their functionalities are mastered, and remote work guidelines are somewhere in the intranet. How to adjust ways of working and every day behaviour is significant. CCEAs people driven change approach can help with these.