After adopting a Work From Anywhere approach in your organisation you may find yourselves stumbling over (or falling deep-down-into) some mighty challenges. If you’re keen to get a head star and prepare for the many challenges of Work From Anywhere, you’ve come to the right place.
Let’s dig into the tough stuff – it’s kind of our thing – and explore the challenges and pitfalls of Work From Anywhere so you can ready the life rafts ahead of time.
The Top 5 Challenges of Work From Anywhere:
The challenge of non-verbal cues
For our hybrid teams and remote-working teams, you’ll quickly discover the challenge of interpreting non-verbal cues through a screen. From hand gestures to eye-rolls (was that an eye roll?) there are many ways we can misinterpret the non-verbal cues from our colleagues and leaders in a WFA environment.
Not to mention the lack of non-verbal cues when communicating over the phone, via text, and by instant messaging services like Slack. We’ve all misread a text, thinking it was a dig when really they were in a rush and only had a split second to type out the ‘k’ in okay. It happens to the best of us.
With this in mind, communication across all team members and all communication platforms needs to be considered carefully in a Work From Anywhere environment.
The challenge of performance feedback
How do you give someone feedback on their performance (or underperformance) when you can’t sit down together? Well, you can try to discuss performance in a video chat, but somehow it never feels quite right.
It’s unnatural for many of us to have performance conversations virtually, so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the top challenges of Work From Anywhere. Thankfully there are plenty of strategies you can use, including making use of 4-point communication, to reduce the intensity of a conversation and depersonalise the feedback so that you don’t leave your team members flipping tables the minute the call ends.
The challenge of an ‘always on’ culture
C’mon, I know you’ve been there before. It’s 5:45pm on a Friday and you’re busting to get that last task crossed off and send that last email. Oh wait, wouldn’t hitting inbox zero be lovely?
A few minutes can quickly turn into hours spent huddled in your home office, missing out on quality family time and swapping it for screen time. Not fun, but it happens.
One of the greatest challenges for our perfectionists out there (yep, I’m looking at you) can be leaving those final few changes for the next day or week. Especially when you’re working from home.
But, if you want to thrive in Work From Anywhere, you need to make sure that you’re communicating the importance of boundaries with all of your team members. Work From Anywhere doesn’t mean ‘Work At All Times, Every Day Of The Week’.
The challenge of collaboration
Regardless of your team structure, collaboration is one of the mightiest challenges you’re likely to face on your Work From Anywhere journey.
Collaboration can be tricky at the best of times, but when you throw in people dialling in from different locations with a small boardroom huddle and looming deadlines, it can get stressful.
Mastering the art of Work From Anywhere collaboration is an essential part of the Work From Anywhere journey. Once you’ve got this challenge kicked to the kerb you’ll be heading on the pathway to Work From Anywhere excellence in no-time.
The challenge of cultural connection
Without your company values staring at you from the wall in the lunchroom, how are you ever going to remember them? Well, you’ll need to incorporate some cultural threads into your Work From Anywhere routine, that’s how.
Culture doesn’t begin and end in a shared office. Your company culture also doesn’t live in some crusty, dusty old book that sits on a shelf in the CEO’s office.
Workplace culture is one of the most misunderstood concepts on the planet, and it’s one we’re extremely passionate about at Pragmatic Thinking. If you want to create a great workplace, Work From Anywhere or not, you need to prioritise connection to culture.
Culture is the glue that holds us together. Without it, where would we be? Probably falling apart at the seams… and that’s the truth of it.
Are you ready to embrace Work From Anywhere in your workplace, or at least put the idea on the table? We’ve got something to help you on your way.
Now available in all great bookstores, our latest read Work From Anywhere: The Essential Guide to Becoming a World-Class Hybrid Team is a must-have for all leaders.