Remote Working Essay

1924 words - 8 pages

REPORT

Amica Solutions

Circulation: Senior Management Team
Date: 22nd April 2009

Contents

1. Background and Introduction
2. Communication
3. Teamworking and Culture
4. Change Management
5. Conclusions
6. Recommendations
1. Background and Introduction

This report is a result of a request from the Senior Management Team at Amica Solutions. It will consider the companies recent move to remote working. Twelve staff have been moved from their office base in Newport to remote working, and are now spread across South Wales. The report is sectioned into three key themes, communication, teamworking and change management.

It was felt the existing office ...view middle of the document...

Communication is where a sender expresses a message, it is transmitted through a medium, and interpreted by the receiver. The receiver then provides feedback. Feedback is important, as it confirms that the message has been received, and that it has been interpreted properly. While communicating on a remote basis, it can be a while for this feedback to arrive. While waiting for this feedback, productivity could be reduced if the sender could not continue with their work until the feedback was received. Clearly, a move to remote working can cause barriers to effective communication. Barriers to communication include interruptions and distractions, which can be rife when working at home, and misunderstandings, which are easily possible when communication digitally rather than in person.

“Communication and perception are inextricably bound. How we communicate to our colleagues, boss, subordinates, friends and partners will depend on our perception of them, on our ‘history’ with them, on their emotional state. According to Fitzherbert, clarity and impact aside, communication will be effective only if you can convince the audience about what you are telling them or showing them”
(Mullins, 2007: 224)

There are many forms of communication within the workplace. These can include verbal, written, traditional and digital media, body language and facial expressions. Remote working can jeopardise a number of these communication forms that are vital for working.

“Good communication is also extremely important to motivate employees…Interestingly, nearly all staff surveys reveal that employees do not feel that management communicates with them very effectively. There is clearly a need for managers to improve in this area”
(Gillespie, 2005:242)

There are a number of methods the company could take to improve communication. Thanks to modern technology, video conferencing is becoming more viable, which although still not perfect, does provide some means of seeing the person you are communicating with.

3. Teamworking and Culture

“Team goes well beyond ‘group’. An effective team will share a common sense of purpose and identity. Bonds and shared perceptions will be tight, so that the team members feel they are supporting each other.”
(Coles, 2003: 308)

As seen above, teams can be defined as groups of people working together for a common goal. Generally, in teams it is understood that each person’s success is interdependent on each other. Remote working has directly impacted on the ability to function as an effective team. It is difficult for the people to perceive that they are still part of a team when they do not see their colleagues on a regular basis. As teams are of a limited size, with a perception of mutual knowledge, they rely upon role coordination and dynamic interaction, both of which are put at risk by remote working. A common perception is of security in numbers, and so by splitting the team...

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