Is Remote Work Killing Innovation?

As companies worldwide are forced to telecommute, many people are grappling with the reality of working from home for extended periods. The truth is, working from home is much more complicated than just laptops and video conferencing. For instance, the ability to foster innovation only through electronic interactions is still a challenge. In this article at Forbes, Joe McKendrick explains that though productivity has seen a boost, the process of innovation needs rethinking.

Remote Working Fallout

According to a study conducted by Boston Consulting Group and KRC Research, executives believe that remote teams have been highly productive, with 82% of executives witnessing increased productivity as people shifted to remoted work. On the contrary, organizations’ spirit of innovation has declined steeply as their workforce dispersed this year. Business leaders often attribute this drop to the crisis atmosphere that reigned with the onset of COVID-19 measures.

Besides, “managers have also admitted they are not well-versed in handling large swaths of remote workers,” explains Joe. The research revealed that nearly 61% of managers have not learned to delegate tasks effectively and empower their virtual teams.

The study points out that promoting innovation is way more challenging than ensuring productivity. The dispersed workforce has lost a sense of purpose. At the office, the workforce is driven by strong and cohesive relationships. Also, work at the office enables employees to witness how their work positively impacts others. Accomplishing these becomes challenging when employees work virtually.

How can Leaders Help?

The real question is how leaders can organize remote teams to be innovative. Industry experts believe that only prior trust and goodwill help keep the team processes going on even as employees shift to remote work. Further, leaders can foster a sense of inclusion in remote teams through personalized leadership by reaching out to each member. When team members feel included, they are more likely to contribute solutions and ideas critical for team innovation.

To read the original article, click on https://www.forbes.com/sites/joemckendrick/2020/10/18/work-from-home-fallout-productivity-up-innovation-down/#44a65ede668d.

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