A whopping 97% of employees do not want to return to a physical office full-time, this means remote work has become the norm. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, there were genuine concerns and palpable fears that the world economy would crumble.
Organizations were not prepared for what they saw. However, although remote work was not an entirely new phenomenon, people did not believe it could be done on such a large scale. Circumstances the world found itself made it expedient that a dramatic move must take place if people must survive.
In the end, it has dawned on everyone that remote work is more attainable than we all thought. Nothing is constant in life. Changes are bound to occur and in the case of remote work, it necessitates organizational change.
Any form of transformation or organizational change in people’s routines must be planned; it’s not what you can embark upon without a well-thought-out strategy. Before coming up with the right strategy, however, you must know what you are heading into.
Therefore, there is the need to explore the five types of organizational change. Let’s see how they can be leveraged to ensure successful remote work.
Remote work transcends across the whole organization. Processes and systems have to change on a large scale. So, since organization-wide change is a large-scale transformation, you must put that into consideration. For successful remote work, you need to introduce new enterprise technology and add new working policies, even if you don’t need to restructure leadership.
Every employee will feel the impact. Legacy systems may have to be revamped and there will be the need for employees to acquaint themselves with the new technology such as collaboration tools that you now need. It will be difficult at the beginning, but with dedication, you start having positive outcomes.
Most employees before now believed that there must be a physical workspace before a business can be conducted. However, with the current organizational change, induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, we can now see how our long-held ideas and views have become obsolete. The success of organization-wide change such as remote work depends to a large extent on comprehensive planning, strategy, and communication throughout the organization.
What you achieve with your organizational change depends on your strategies and how you execute them.
2. Transformational Change
Successful remote work calls for transformational change. This is where you must look at your organizational strategy clinically. So, if your organization does not have measures that can be quickly deployed and integrated into your processes, you will lose your market relevance.
Only organizations that have plans that are agile, adaptable, and focused on transforming their processes on a whim will successfully embark on remote work. Again, your strategies serve as the roadmap for transformational change.
You must have a good grasp of your organization’s current situation. Remember, what you intend to achieve, and how organizational culture, social climate, and technological progress will accelerate or negate your plans.
A study from MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte, reveals that any business that aims at achieving digital maturity has to concentrate on the integration of digital technologies, such as social, mobile, analytics, and cloud, into their transformation strategies. This is what you need for successful remote work. But, what if you can’t meet up with the pace at which remote work is going? You can always outsource some tasks to any reputable digital adoption platform.
According to ILO Monitor, the COVID-19 pandemic caused 114 million employees to lose their jobs in 2020. If we factor in the working hours lost, we shall have a staggering figure. Employees become worried when they realize that a colleague or friend has been laid off because they wonder if they will be next.
Everybody wants to be assured of job security. A situation like this gives rise to personal change. If an employee does not feel assured of job security, there is bound to be a change that is borne out of fear and anxiety.
This fear and anxiety may affect employees’ morale and that will impact their remote work. This is usually the biggest cause for personal change.
However, since the company must move forward, what you can do to assuage employees’ feelings is to display genuine compassion. Make them understand why such drastic measures had to be taken. Motivate them to work hard for the possible reinstatement of their laid-off colleagues.
Another cause for personal change is where you have to embark on mass hiring. This indicates that your organization is performing well in the market, you still need to ensure that the new employees adopt the culture of your organization. If the business does not train these new employees on organization techniques, you may end up with a chaotic working environment. Furthermore, taking into consideration that your employees are working remotely, this can be catastrophic.
4. Unplanned Change
Using any standard to measure it, remote work is an unplanned change. Nobody expected coronavirus or the changes in lifestyle that followed the pandemic.
Organizations took actions they saw fit to survive. These actions were unplanned, but necessary. Where we didn’t anticipate these drastic measures the business world had to go through, it does not mean that organizations should not plan for upheavals.
We have witnessed a lot of occurrences that have tended to completely disrupt processes in the business world. Organizations must have contingency plans for planned and unplanned events that they can switch on if the unprecedented happens. This is the essence of being resilient.
5. Remedial Change
Remedial change may not be what you need for your organizational change, however, you must put it in focus. If your employee working from home is not performing the way you expect, you may not have any other option than to seek a replacement.
Organizational change in the level of remote work requires that employees have to go through some forms of training. For example, if you have an employee that’s not putting in enough effort or ineffective customer experience for the over 4.72 billion people on the internet who want to purchase from you across the globe, you can go for a remedial change.
The need for remedial change may not necessarily come from your bottom-line employees. A new CEO who does not meet up the required expectations may need to be replaced. It’s the era of organizational change, and remote work must succeed.