As people, we sometimes tend to make things more complicated than what they really are. For years, many companies entertained the idea of establishing defined working from home policies, before finding reasons to kick the can down the road: inadequate technology; a lack of remote working culture; an absence of metrics to measure performance.
However, in the blink of an eye, we had to become 100% remote overnight with little time for preparation. Despite this, it was only by diving into the deep end that we were able to realize that we were, in fact, fully able to work from home. This process has had its challenges but that famous Kyocera “Fighting spirit” shone through once again. At Kyocera, remote working is here to stay, and we hope to convert it into a competitive advantage.
Traditionally, it was widely accepted that for larger meetings to be effective they had to be held face to face. Virtual meetings have disproven this theory in recent months. We have seen how these video conferences, when well run, can be as effective as physical meetings, and in many instances be more efficient in terms of logistics.
These meetings have forced us to communicate better, to deliver clearer and more concise messages and instructions to avoid confusion. This can only be a good thing in terms of productivity going forward.
Having said that, most of us have by now realized that working from home is not easy. We previously imagined remote working as something idyllic and stress-free. Most will have naturally enjoyed the extra flexibility that comes with working from home and I’m sure few will have missed the often-stressful daily commute.
As the novelty began to wear off, however, we discovered the difficulty to separate work from personal life, as well as time management issues and the stress generated by not having a proper working space or the right technology. Thanks to the flexibility and professionalism of our team, we have been able to face such challenges head on.
Looking ahead, it seems unlikely that a 100% office or home working model will work. It is, therefore, very important to find the right balance between the two. On the one hand, we should give our employees the flexibility to embrace and enjoy the positive side of working from home, but we also need to value the sense of community and team spirit that comes with working together in the office and through face to face casual interactions.
As we transition back to the office environment, we need to analyze our current model of remote working. We need to identify what has worked and what has not. As I previously mentioned, we want to turn remote working into an organizational strength and to do so we need to provide our employees with the proper training to help them work effectively from home.
Time was not a luxury we had at the start of the pandemic, but this is something we will be focusing on in the coming months. We want to build from this experience and make any necessary adjustments to get better. We are also looking at additional investment in remote working technology, digital workflows, and developing a remote working culture. This will be fundamental to further boosting our productivity.
It is important that we avoid a situation whereby we have two different groups of people in our organization: those who work from home and those who work in the office. It is important to emphasize that we are one company with one culture, and that should not be influenced by where you work.
Looking ahead, many companies will face the challenge of maintaining that spirit and unity in the absence of a central working space. As we become more agile and dynamic as a company, we also need to make sure that the Kyocera spirit remains intact. Our unique culture and human touch make us who we are.
Of course, our tremendous salespeople and service technicians are used to working remotely due to the nature of their job but during the reduced workload in recent months we realized that we could invest more time on training. This is something that will change so that our team can continue to do what they do best.
We have learned a huge amount in recent months, about ourselves and as professionals. We still have a lot to learn with regards remote working, but this is a challenge we are looking forward to facing as a team. Given our talent and spirit, I am sure we will turn the “new normal” into an exciting new era for Kyocera.
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