Telework requires the development of greater professional independence. However, such an organization of work does not mean that you have to go it alone. Here’s how to ensure that this new reality becomes beneficial to both the employee and his or her employer.
The question arises: is teleworking synonymous with working in silos? Not at all, replies Manon Poirier, Executive Director of the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés (CHRP).
“In a context where informal meetings around the coffee machine have disappeared, it is important to keep a holistic view of things in order to know how to ask the right questions to the right people at the right time,” she says, however.
The autonomy of an employee is therefore measured by his ability to fully understand the mandates entrusted to him, to know who the stakeholders are, what he must deliver, when and how he will do it and also to his ability to estimate whether he has all the skills and tools to achieve this.
While some do this naturally, other workers will always need closer supervision. “To function well in teleworking mode, organizations must be more proactive in establishing good communication mechanisms,” explains Manon Poirier.
Maintain a sense of belonging
Physical distance and long-term solo work do nothing to create and maintain a team spirit, even though the technological equipment for collaborative work has been in place for more than six months, warns Manon Poirier. In her opinion, many issues remain.
In order to guide employers and employees in this regard, the CHRP Order has updated its Guide to supervising teleworking. “By creating regular meetings with the teleworker, the employer will be able to maintain consistency in communication and, consequently, ensure effective monitoring of the work accomplished, promote sound management and prevent conflicts,” it says.
The authors further advise creating “informal communication channels”, for example, happy hours, virtual cafes or discussion threads, with the aim of fostering team spirit while allowing employees to maintain their links with their colleagues.
“Organizations that are doing well succeed in strengthening ties by taking the time to recognize and celebrate the successes achieved by employees,” says the president of the CHRP. She advises that more fun meetings be instituted during working hours.
A few smiles can thus become the glue of a team spread out across the city!
At the height of lockdown last spring, nearly one in three Canadian workers was in teleworking mode, about 4.9 million people. By the end of September 2020, they were still just over 4 million working mostly at home, according to Statistics Canada.
In comparison, there were half as many teleworkers in 2019, or 1.9 million.