Flexible work arrangement has always been huge in our company. In fact, many of our team members value it as one of the primary employee propositions working here at aAdvantage. So, it’s of no surprise that when Covid-19 hits us in the form of mandatory work-from-home (WFH) ruling, all of us are ‘ready’ for the transition - to move from the familiar physical world and navigate into the unknown ‘virtual’ world. Yet there remain challenges ranging from:
Technical issues - Murphy’s law: whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. This can range from home broadband to hardware and software issues, even the hardy ‘original’ battery charger will break down when you need it most; thankfully most of these resolve over time with some of us experiencing greater pain than others
Face-time – even though we are able to work from home previously, most meetings are conducted in the office as team members feel that it’s more conducive and perhaps, more productive and effective this way; seeing and talking to one another face-to-face on-line especially in a group setting seem weird. Can’t help but think “What are they doing when they are not talking?”
Physical space – having to work with multiple family members around you can be a boon or bane. There can be ‘distractions’ of different nature, ranging from tender loving care from a loved one who’s constantly checking in if you want a drink or perhaps more (I emphasise) food; to kids (if you have them), who are perhaps not so happy that you are around because you have taken over their desk (and room) to do your private video conference call
The list goes on and at the end of the day, it requires passion, discipline and established norms to make things work and work well.
It has been 2 weeks since the official WFH and I realise that as a firm, we have achieved so much. So, here’s my stock take on what’s been done (and many more). Whilst similar activities are conducted in the past, these items in the list are accomplished for the very first time in the virtual environment!
aAdvantage's WFH Initiatives (All Conducted Online)
All these may happen as a result of necessity or some would say ‘no choice’. I have a slightly different perspective. Some organisations will embrace WFH faster and more effective than others. This has lesser to do with technology but more with organisation culture. At the core of this is Organisation Trust. Is there trust within the organisation that everyone will “do the right things and do things right” for the organisation.
Our current culture of people taking ownership, seeking clarity, respecting differences, learning and applying new knowledge and caring for one another helps us navigate through this difficult period and propels us to be ready for the future. No one is 100% clear, we are learning and adapting together...
Vincent Ho, Director, aAdvantage Consulting
Vincent Ho is the Co-owner & Director of aAdvantage Consulting Group, a boutique firm "Partnering You in Organisational Growth through Culture Transformation".
He has 25 years of business advisory and coaching experience and focuses on organisation transformation, customer experience, leadership team and culture development, senior leadership team coaching and change management.
His motivations are driven by his core values of Respect, Humility and Collaboration.