In early 2020, hundreds of millions of workers worldwide suddenly found themselves working remotely. Leaders scrambled to provide employees and teams with the tools and support they needed to stay connected and succeed. As firms emerged from the pandemic, author Tsedal Neeley reports, executives and workers hope to retain the advantages of remote work – flexibility, lack of commuting, and higher productivity and engagement. Leaders – especially those new to managing virtual teams – will gain enormously from Neeley’s handy guide and toolkit.
For decades, progressive firms permitted and encouraged remote work. Today, remote and hybrid work are business as usual.
In the early 1990s, when Cisco began allowing employees to work from anywhere, the company saved almost $200 million in office leases in the first year of the program. A few years later, Sun Microsystems put more than a third of its employees into a voluntary remote worker program that stationed workers closer to their customers worldwide and saved $500 million over the next 10 years.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, millions of employees found themselves working from home. Some firms experienced increases in productivity and enormous savings, or both. Employees are eager for remote work to continue, and many organizations plan to allow remote work more of the time and for more employees.
To handle the challenges of remote and hybrid work, people need support, coaching and appropriate tools.
The downsides to remote working can be challenging. Remote workers may feel isolated, and remote teams often grow dysfunctional. Technology may create headaches and disrupt...