Remote work and transversality: the complicated equation

In an age of everyone at home and chat for everybody, is it really possible to develop remote working without aggravating the silos?

One of the most significant effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the world of work has certainly been the paradigm shift in where and how work is done.
Whether in an open space, a closed office or jogging on the sofa, work is the same.

No more need to constantly expand office space to accommodate new teams. Realise that in the end what matters is that the work gets done.

This reshuffles all the cards in the world of work. You don’t manage your teams in the same way at a distance, you don’t always have the same comfort as in the office, you don’t exchange information in the same way, and social ties are certainly the most negatively impacted. Gone are the days of informal discussions, meetings in the lift and impromptu lunches with colleagues.

According to a recent study carried out by researchers on Microsoft teams in the United States before and during the Covid-19 pandemic, the meteoric acceleration of telework, perceived as a democratisation for some and a boon for others (including Microsoft), ultimately proved to be a brake or even a setback in terms of breaking down organisational barriers.

Researchers commissioned by Microsoft have analysed the working habits of more than 60,000 Microsoft US employees.
During the first half of 2020, they deciphered all interactions between employees (emails, calendars, chat, video, calls, collaborative tools, etc.).

And here is the result: “Our results show that enterprise-wide remote working made the workers’ collaboration network more static and compartmentalised, with fewer bridges between disparate parties. Furthermore, there was a decrease in synchronous communication and an increase in asynchronous communication.

Despite the accelerated digitalisation of companies, the impressive offer of collaborative tools, and a massive adoption of them (due to the pandemic), communication, collaboration and knowledge sharing are the big losers.

This observation demonstrates the importance of social ties within companies, the intangible part of informality, and above all highlights the crucial role of human assets within companies.

A company is not a sum of people or a pile of expertise. A company is organic: it is a continuous flow of skills, knowledge, know-how, emotions, desires and ambitions that collide and interact on a daily basis to create the company’s value and culture.

Collaborative tools create wonderful bridges and a virtual network between employees, but they do not really connect them.

At elqano, we provide this thin but essential missing layer: creating the paths among these bridges, connecting needs and knowledge, questions and answers, in short connecting people.

For more information on Microsoft’s study on the adverse effects of teleworking: click here

Read also : the article by Guillaume de Calignon in Les Echos