Only two years ago, the remote work model was wishful thinking for most of us. It was generally overlooked and downgraded due to several misjudgments before the pandemic. And then it came so fast that we suddenly found ourselves working at our coffee table at home.
Despite all the differences between each company and each person, everyone somehow adapted to working remotely, but it didn’t go the same way for everyone. While some enjoyed the flexibility and the efficiency that the remote work model had brought, others struggled with the unorganized and isolating nature of it.
From personal characteristics of individuals to organizational structures of businesses, the adaptation process to the remote work model had several dimensions. In this article, we’re going to go over how different the remote work experience became for people and what kind of adaptations we have witnessed.
From Teams Aspect
One of the drawbacks of remote working is missing the opportunity to have face-to-face interactions with your colleagues. Since a vast majority of office meetings have been converted into online video conferences, most of the teams had to continue their operations without having in-person communications.
On one hand, there have been positive outcomes of shifting to the remote work model in terms of office meetings such as getting rid of unnecessary conversations, being more topic-focused, and creating a more involving environment.
On the other hand, it caused colleagues to become more distant from each other, causing a possible decrease in team spirit and altering the team dynamics. Decreases in communication have been a struggle for teams, but not every one of them has been affected the same way.
The litmus test for the teams that have experienced the effects of remote working differently, was the time that those teams spent together before shifting to the remote work model.
For well-established teams, mostly the teams that were already in charge before the pandemic, working remotely was not as problematic. Since such teams have already established the essence of their dynamics and built trust among each member, the lack of face-to-face interactions did not cause a fatal blow.
It was the newly formed teams that suffered the most from remote working. For the teams that were formed just before the pandemic or during the pandemic, there was not enough time to establish a solid ground.
A team must have built strong interpersonal communication among its members to operate well. Without those, young teams have suffered in coming to a mutual decision or being at ease with trusting their team members.
But the future looks promising anyway. Even the newly established teams have found their way of building a trusting relationship within themselves and made it possible to operate under remote working conditions in fits and starts.
Remote Working On an Individual Level
It’s not jaw-dropping information that the remote work model has worked in favor of introverts. With less social communication, more personal space, and keeping away from unnecessary human interaction, introverts have found their long-awaited opportunity to blossom. However, what truly set the tone for people as regards their adaptation to the remote work model was not their introverted or extravert nature.
One thing to take note of remote working is that it’s a brand-new model. For most people, working was having a nine-to-five office trip, and their lifestyles were adapted accordingly. With the rise of the remote work model, what became a struggle for people was adapting to this new lifestyle.
Sure, extraverts might have found the remote work model a little bit more challenging than introverts, but they still were able to find ways of socializing while working remotely, because they’re great at it.
So, the struggle of adapting to the remote work model was more about the open nature of people. More than anything, the remote work model is a groundbreaking change for the business world and people with the most resistance towards change have faced the biggest struggle.
Working at home was only part of the struggle. Remote work has also changed the way we live our daily lives and for people that prefer a predefined routine in their lives, going through this change was painful. But hey, in the end, everyone has managed to find their rhythm under remote working conditions.
Remote Work Model For Businesses
On a company level, the adaptation process was more about the organizational structure of the companies. For companies that depended on in-person communication of their employees, shifting to a remote work model was a challenge and we have witnessed a lot of companies who denied applying remote work models for their companies even in the middle of the pandemic.
For businesses with flexible team structures, high levels of delegation, and relatively small size, changing to the remote work model was smoother. It still had its challenges, but it was manageable and a significant number of these companies have shifted to remote or hybrid work models later on.
To sum up, not everyone’s journey of experiencing the remote work model was not the same. Companies, teams, and individuals have all faced their struggles during this process and there have been certain factors that attained their success.
However, in the end, everyone was able to find their strategy to adapt to the remote work model and the moral of the story is that there’s no certain answer for how to do it best.