From Smart Working to Smart TEAM Working

by Claudia Paoletti – Kilpatrick Executive Search Managing Partner

How to improve performance working from home.

The current emergency linked to Coronavirus is dramatically impacting companies worldwide as the unprecedented health crisis assumes global proportions. Therefore, many companies now feel the sudden need to move towards a remote work direction. 

New realities are forcing companies to take necessary measures to allow their employees to work from home. However, these adjustments often come when the emergency has already taken a firm grip, so both companies and employees may be caught unprepared to implement this type of solution, and the chain of command might be broken as a consequence.

So, what are the forms of remote work that can be adopted?

The Home Office formula (teleworking)

• Work execution takes place away from the office
• The tools and technologies needed to work must be provided and maintained by the employer
• In practice, the worker does the same type of work he normally does in the office and the workload is also equivalent
• In order to prevent remote workers from being isolated, the employer takes measures to involve them by encouraging regular meetings with colleagues and access to company information, training and career growth

The Smart Working formula

• As in the case of home office, it is carried out away from the office
• The workload is organized into phases, cycles and with clear objectives, without time and place limits
• The performance is not measured in quantitative terms but in qualitative terms, overcoming the traditional concept of fixed working hours
• An individual agreement is established which identifies the connection and disconnection schedule from the technological devices

Having identified the two ways of working remotely, however, it’s necessary to highlight the fact that there are some types of tasks and people for whom teleworking or smart working are not suitable and vice versa.

In fact, traditional formulas have a series of drawbacks. The worker often finds his personal life invaded by the work. The lack of contact with colleagues leads to isolation and very often there is no sense of belonging. Furthermore, if remote work is not well planned or executed, productivity may decrease, and it may be difficult to control the quantity and quality of work. Employers often complain of a lack of control and awareness of the work being done. Sometimes the lack of contact with colleagues in the office limits the cohesion of the teams and slows down the exchange of ideas. But above all, there are people who struggle to self-motivate, are not organized, and not able to manage priorities efficiently, finding it challenging to work far from a structured office.

How can you avoid this kind of situation?

First of all, it is necessary to analyze the employees and their roles and evaluate their aptitudes and their ability to manage working remotely. It is advisable to carry out targeted assessments that allow you to understand the mindset of your collaborators and learn if they are able to work remotely as well as which formula of remote work best suits their personality.

The key aspect that point us towards a winning formula is the technology that allows making smart working possible and accessible to everyone.

Companies are currently reacting with promptitude to the crisis, but still, some of the choices made at this time can be transformed into an advantage for the future, by allowing greater employee resilience at lower costs to achieve greater productivity. We must also realize that, surely, this historical moment that we are living and that is putting a strain on our economy, will lead us to change the current approach towards work and it will not be so obvious to go back to the one we had until now.

We must, therefore, take advantage of a need in an opportunity. For some companies, applying the home office formula is rather easy, smart working, on the other hand, more complex but still feasible. However, it is essential to consider an enhanced and more modern remote working formula:

Smart TEAM Working

• The work is done away from the office but not in solitude: there is a flow of activities and continuous interaction with work groups (agile team) which are organized into roles and divided into stages
• Smart TEAM Working allows you to apply agile organization processes to decentralized processes, guided by a shared method and clear responsibilities
• To be able to communicate and work efficiently, an agile platform is available to all team members

In fact, moving from a traditional smart working formula to the integrated smart TEAM working approach, by adopting a platform customized according to the needs of the company, allows companies to obtain unexpected and extraordinary results. Continuous and structured communication between colleagues, managers and other underlying rapports, having the right algorithms that allow to study, guide and support the processes and activities, ensure that excellent results can be obtained both in qualitative and quantitative terms.

In particular, using digital tools and methods of analysis for the processes and to allocate the workloads obtaining greater productivity, may result in greater satisfaction of the workforce, higher turnover/yield or output and greater cost competitiveness with savings of 20-30% on costs, time and people management.

It is true that at this moment companies are continually re-calibrating the emergency and are forced to make quick decisions based on the advice that comes from the government and common sense, but stopping to reflect and choose a new and performing technology for the remote work of their employees, should be the right way to go.

Moreover, it must be considered that smart working is not limited to a pure work-life balance and corporate welfare initiative, but triggers a path of profound cultural change in a company and an evolution of organizational models.

Precisely for this reason, the Digital division of Kilpatrick, in addition to supporting its customers in the definition and implementation of the Smart TEAM Working Platform, is focused on evaluating, together with the client company, the fundamental steps to kickstart the evolution of organizational models and the cultural change needed.

In fact, through a specific assessment, it is possible to evaluate the “readiness” level of the various company areas, of the people involved in the introduction of the Smart Working logic and the level of leadership of the managers. We also support you in defining the organizational and technological model aimed at enabling cultural and managerial change within the company.

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