NorthGate First Blog

As the threat of coronavirus has swept the nation the uptake of remote working has increased massively across a variety of industries. The question is why does it take a global pandemic to mobilise our workforce?

There has always been concern that when employees aren’t in the office, they can’t be productive and that we would spend our time elsewhere. They may be catching up on chores or watching TV or any other way to avoid any real work. However, as someone who has worked from home a lot in my short career, I actually think that my quality of work is greater than if I were sat at a small desk in a loud office. Granted you may not be able to see me sat typing away at my laptop or on the phone to customers but if the work is being done then why aren’t we able to do this more often?

My opinion is that it is down to the culture of your organisation and that this time gives us a great opportunity to review it and ensure that it is one in which high-performance can grow.

I have recently made a promise to myself to read 2 self-development books a month and one of the first I was keen to read was The Barcelona Way by Damian Hughes. Firstly, because football is a huge part of my life outside of work and secondly, having heard Damian speak on a couple of occasions I really enjoy how he relates sport to business and the synergies which can be identified.

The focus is centred around Barcelona during Guardiola’s tenure as manager and how he used a culture and a working environment as a way of creating an advantage over the opposition. Every member was committed to a shared big picture and the three key behaviours, humility, hard work and team first. No one had this culture forced upon them and those who opposed quickly left the club, however, the ones who stayed went on to be arguably one of the greatest football teams ever.

This was because they chose to be there, they were given freedom and the trust that they were committed to the shared behaviours and that they would put humility, hard work and the team above any self-interest. These behaviours are reinforced by authentic leadership and cultural architects who are already committed to that shared end goal no matter what it may be.

Bringing it back to my point, if you are worried about your teams’ behaviour whilst remote working under these new lockdown measures then you have two options as I see it. One is to dictate what you want and micro-manage every tiny detail until eventually something cracks or, you can show leadership and reinforce the behaviour you wish to see. The ones who buy into and trust in the this will stay and work harder. Whilst the ones who aren’t committed will likely walk out the door and really is that such a bad thing?

I really recommend giving the book a read yourselves if culture, football and business are of interest and it would be great to get any other recommendations for some new books to read in the comments below.