Remote working has taken the world by storm! What was intended to be a temporary circumstance because of the Covid-19 pandemic is now predicted to be the biggest shift of the modern era.
Our research highlighted the positive impacts felt from remote working. In our recent survey about the impact of Covid on Personality, we identified respondents’ attitudes to remote work, and 90% of respondents expressed an interest in remote working at least part of the time. The reality of this means that many organisations will be functioning with either fully remote teams or hybrid teams.
The demand has never been higher for employers to include a remote working policy in their organisation. With more than 30% of employees stating they are likely to switch jobs if they return to entirely on-site work, it’s clear that incorporating an effective remote working policy into your organisation is crucial when it comes to attracting and retaining talent.
So, what makes for a truly effective remote working policy? For organisations to cross the pitfalls of this new structural shift, there needs to be careful management of the top challenges that organisations face within a virtual workspace.
Effective communication is something that can significantly impact an organisation. When done correctly, organisations are 50% more likely to have a lower employee turnover, making this particular challenge of remote working vital to manage within the remote space.
Communication for remote teams can take a lot of getting used to. After all, you have fewer opportunities to engage in those impromptu conversations that are likely to take place when colleagues are face-to-face. Whilst working remotely, communication needs to be intentional, planned, and organised, which takes more effort, especially for those who score highly on Inspiration Driven. Likewise, those who score highly on Discipline Driven will appreciate this structured approach to communication.
People react differently to work situations because of who they are. Over the last 20 years, more and more scholars have been focusing on the realisation that personality is predictive of job performance. This shift in attitudes since the 1990s has redefined the selection and development process, making it essential for leaders to cater to the different personalities in their organisation when considering a remote working policy.
In virtual workspaces, not only should leaders set up a framework to manage communication, but they should also be more deliberate about communicating effectively. Here at Lumina Learning, we believe that when all the Aspects of the Lumina Spark mandala are considered, you can adapt your communication style to suit different individuals working remotely.
Lumina Learning has developed a foolproof way to adjust your communication style to fit your team’s preferences based on their personality. By learning how to build rapport with the 8 Aspects, you will better understand yourself and your team, improving your chances of creating a remote working policy with effective communication.
Lumina Spark’s 8 Aspects of personality
As previously mentioned, those who score highly on Discipline Driven will appreciate a more structured approach to communication. When scheduling meetings, make sure to send them a calendar invite with a clear agenda for the meeting to allow them time to prepare their thoughts and goals for the meeting.
Those who score highly on Inspiration Driven may not benefit as much from being tied down to a meeting schedule. Give them the ability to be Spontaneous and Flexible by allowing everyone in the organisation access to view your calendar. When they decide to have an impromptu catchup with you, they can use your diary to schedule some time without advance notice.
Here at Lumina Learning, we value different ways of being. We understand that different personalities will be in every organisation and encourage you to celebrate each individual’s unique value. There are great benefits when you commit to having an inclusive workplace, with 54% of employees stating that a strong sense of community kept them at a company longer.
When working remotely, organisations should make more of an effort to be inclusive of every personality. Our research showed that negative feelings increased during the Covid-19 crisis, with more people feeling anxious, disconnected, and excluded. Organisations need to avoid this pitfall of remote working in order to reap the benefits.
According to the CIPD, an inclusive environment is one where everyone feels able to participate and achieve their potential. Good people management requires you to again understand your team and how they like to work based on their personality. When you consider each Aspect of the Lumina Spark mandala, you will be able to create an effective remote working policy that is inclusive of each quality.
For instance, those who score highly on People-Focused enjoy working collaboratively and are highly consensus-based. Whilst working in a remote space, ensure that collaboration is always on the agenda. Why not make use of a virtual planning space such as Trello? The ability to co-create planning boards will help your team to feel a better sense of cohesion. They will be able to access other planning boards and get involved where they would like to, similar to the standard office format.
For those who score highly on Introversion, working remotely complements their observing and intimate nature. However, when left to their own devices, they can detach themselves from the team as they work well independently. Catering to their personality means adjusting your communication channels with them. This can be achieved by making more effort with written communication via email or Teams and making time for one-to-one catchups using Zoom or Microsoft teams to allow them the space to share their ideas and feedback comfortably.
Motivation and Engagement
According to Gallup research, when employees are motivated and engaged, their performance soars, with workplaces benefitting from claiming 41% lower absenteeism, 40% fewer quality defects and 21% higher profitability. Those figures are certainly not worth ignoring! Motivation and engagement within the remote space should be carefully managed to ensure you don’t end up on the other side of those statistics.
We understand that ensuring your team is motivated and engaged can be more difficult when you are not in the same location as them. This is something that requires more effort in the virtual workspace. During the pandemic, many leaders fell into two camps, either leaving team members to their own devices and hoping they stay motivated, or going over the top and straying into Overextended overbearing behaviours.
So, how do you engage and motivate your team without drifting into Overextended behaviour?
Understanding yourself and your team can help. By catering to the different individuals within your organisation and focusing on what drives them to be more productive, you can create a remote working space where people feel motivated and engaged.
Lumina Spark in action – check out the case study
For instance, those who score highly on Extraversion are not only excited by social interactions, but by opportunities to express themselves and exert their influence. Whilst working remotely, you can motivate and engage these personalities by publicly praising their achievements. Team spotlights can be a good way of shining the light on their accomplishments. You can use Microsoft Teams and Zoom to arrange a video interview, giving them the ability to control what is shared about them.
Those who score highly on Outcome-Focused are driven by their candid nature and need to win. Incorporating healthy competition within the workplace can motivate them to be more productive. When looking for ways to improve certain workplace practices, why not open the discussion to the team? More Outcome-Focused people will enjoy the healthy conflict. By encouraging team members to engage in a constructive debate to better the organisation, not only will they feel valued and listened to, but they will strive to win.
With remote working here to stay, it’s important to consider these challenges and how you overcome them within your organisation. Want to learn more about how you can tailor your remote working policy to suit every personality in your organisation, not just the ones we’ve covered? Download our guide to creating an effective remote working policy and culture.
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