Remote work and how we adapted our workplace post Covid-19.

Why we’re embracing remote work for the long haul.

Within 3 short months, the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to reevaluate our workplace. Many major employers have already decided to implement at least some form of work-from-home permanently and I’m proud to say Select Training can now be included on the list of businesses that have taken the step to implement work from home, indefinitely.

This unprecedented ‘black swan’ event has fast-forwarded the future of work and remote learning. There’s simply no turning back.

As a founder and CEO of a company that designs and delivers learning solutions and programs, I am obligated to provide my clients with new, adaptive ways to deliver their learning needs.

I’m also obligated to keep my teams safe, secure, healthy and productive.

Since March 2020, I closed both offices and our team began working from home. Initially, l was apprehensive about how we were all going to adapt so fast.

Could we collaborate and work effectively without coming together in a physical space? How would we keep track of our projects and communicate seamlessly? What about our clients? Would we manage to keep on top of things?

Fast forward five months.

I believe we should have made this shift sooner.

When people ask how we did it, I have to be honest. It was trial and error at first. I’ve no prior experience as a CEO running a remote company. We were all stepping into a new world; a new way of getting work done.

But rather than focusing on what l do not have or do not know, I turned to what l do.

Something I was very certain about;

A dedicated and committed team of professionals who were with me and behind the company. Ambassadors of Select.

And together, we took this as an opportunity to make things better.

Here’s a few of the positive changes we made and practices we adopted:

  1. We now measure our productivity in terms of outcomes and impact as opposed to ‘hours worked’.
  2. We trust and empower and make sure everyone knows what they are accountable for. Micromanagement is a thing of the past, we provide context and let people get on with their job, by getting out of their way. Productivity has now doubled.
  3. We take ownership and have the freedom to make decisions. We hired people we trusted, and want them to make decisions versus going to the next level up and asking permission. Our company decision-making process has speeded up, with fewer bottlenecks.
  4. Be clear about where the company is going, share what you know with the team, so they feel involved and understand how their contributions fit within the overall goals and direction of the company. We now have weekly online, virtual huddles where I ask for feedback after sharing company progress and updates. Everyone at the ‘virtual table’ gets a voice, and the opportunity to ask questions, and challenge assumptions or decisions.
  5. We use all forms of communication such as email, Whatsapp, Smoothie, ZOOM and telephone calls. This has really helped when we need to get advice or a response quickly.

I wanted to keep a pulse on the team’s morale, and how well they were adapting to working remotely.  Following a company-wide survey in July, more than 60% voted to be in favour of continuing to work from home indefinitely.

And so, the decision was made.

But what’s been the real impact of our new working environment?

A positive change in our company culture.

We now focus on outcomes and results versus hours worked. Our leadership philosophy is built on trust and empowerment. We’re big on accountability, and expect everyone on the team to know and understand how their work impacts the bottom line.

Remote work is here to stay.

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