5 tips to steal from Google's remote working policy
Google is the quintessential ‘disruptor’. In fact, so good is the tech-behemoth, that it’s now the structure that so many other tech start-ups are trying to disrupt.
However, it maintains its supremacy due to its ability to not only keep a firm grasp on its industry-leading talent and business model, but also its ability to introduce flexibility, adaptability and innovation into its functions.
Many firms who fancy themselves as ‘disruptors’ simply aren’t, and this is because when all of the beanbags, office slides, fancy canteens and other aesthetic ephemera are removed, what’s left is a company that sees its existence as vulnerable and is therefore afraid to truly embrace fluidity and change.
Chief Executive of Google Sundar Pichai made headlines earlier this month for confirming that the company would extend its work from home policy until at least July 2021. This decision wasn’t made on a whim – nor did Pichai rely on his decades of leadership experience to make the call.
Instead, he surveyed over 5,000 Google employees and held focus groups with over 100 more to better ascertain exactly what employees wanted and how this would impact their work structures. These surveys focused on four areas; wellbeing, performance, connectedness and productivity.
After analysing all of this data, Google made several key discoveries which defined not only how it handled the pandemic, but also how it plans to adapt to the vastly-more remote future of work. These were:
Make team meetings a priority
“Team meetings are often some of the only interactions you’ll have with your team when working apart so schedule them, prioritise them even if it there isn’t anything urgent, and be socially present,” added Google.
Show personal interest
Google’s data found that the key positives for employees from meetings within the company were the chance to talk to peers and senior leaders about themselves. It recommends pushing this by starting all meetings with a short period of chitchat.
“Some engagement signals are lost when we work together virtually,” stated Google. “Particularly when we mute the microphone or focus intently on our laptops. So, try to keep engagement high by giving everyone the opportunity to speak, and encouraging everyone to look at each other.”
Whilst the difference between being a consistent presence in your employees’ remote working schedule and preventing them from actually completing their work is ultimately down to personal preference, Google recommends checking in with a short hello via an encouraging message, a project-relevant news article, or even a funny photo.
Recognise your teammates
“When working remotely, it isn’t as easy to say a quick ‘thanks’ or ‘good job’ to a teammate,” the firm said. “Be sure to send a message to a colleague congratulating or thanking them, share kudos in team meetings, and utilise your company’s recognition program."
Source: Executive Grapevine