#remoteness

  1. Remote is just fine for established, trusted teams who have experience of work pre-pandemic.
  2. Remote is not so good for new colleagues, those new to the world of work and for innovation.
  3. We are developing strong ties networks, both locally to us (professional, geographically) AND digitally and far away from us (fixed or fluid pan-global team constructs, specific challenges requiring imaginative solutions and collective wisdom etc).
  4. Middle managers (created to help with new speed and opportunity out of industrial-era efficiencies) would morph into Hybrid Work Synchronizers.
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch: https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-woman-talking-while-on-a-video-call-5234858/
  • The intense business rescue (COVID response)
  • Stabilising thereafter
  • Growth in work volume, nature and team size and the necessary adaptation,
  • New products, services and operating model (and a further increase in team size)
  • To pursue a more clarified and aspirational strategy/agenda and
  • Validate ourselves on accreditations that mattered to us (Living Wage, 4-Day Working Week, Certified BCorporation, Climate Positive).
  • We have seen a culture form that is the most sincere, powerful and soulful I’ve ever experienced in 30+ years in the world of work.
  • We have developed individually and collectively around core practice areas and our take on the complex problems of the business/working world.
  • We have experienced a small number people come in but leave because the way things were, weren’t for them or us. It didn’t have anything to do with remote working, it was down to self-management (our one rule) not being for them.
  1. A former events management supplier in my corporate days, who I did some mentoring with during 2010. J then set up offices in Australia and the US. She returned to the UK in 2020. We weren’t constantly messaging best friends for those 10 years. Now, we’re absolutely strongly bonded and looking out for each other. All remotely with three in-person contacts in over two years.
  2. A former leadership and L&D marketer and consultant who met me fleetingly in 2012. Irregular contact through the following 7 years. K then married, became a mum. moved and moved back home again and now; a trusted leader within the enterprise and strong collaborative worker with me, my go-to. K and I have developed into an unbreakable partnership and understanding of each other. We plan to co-author, co-create and shift some big paradigms together. All built remotely with only two in-person meetups prior to COVID-19, one since and one to come soon.
  3. A former HR and Internal Comms professional I met once, in 2013, for about an hour, pregnant at the time with her first child. Who took time out to raise her family and run a child-minding business and who reconnected with me late in 2020. K and I are now operational process buddies and inseparable when it comes to efficiencies and building a caring, effective and optimised business. We’ve met twice in the 18 months we’ve worked together.
  4. A former client connection from 2014–15, who took herself away from work to start a family. Someone who, from the moment we worked together in the client setting, I knew had special qualities. But I accepted it’d be tough to make into a working collaboration within this enterprise. Until fate dealt us a possibility. And now, thriving more than ever in her career and with only one in-person meet-up together since mid-2020, C is brimming with enthusiasm about balancing motherhood and advancing her entrepreneurialism, and again, we weren’t constant messaging BFFs. Yet now, we’re intertwined with new venture possibilities.
  5. The niece of a client who had the availability to come into the team at the end of 2021. J is now off to a new role on a brilliant opportunity on a Grad Scheme. We met over a 3-day period this summer and didn’t know each other before working together. I’ll be watching this career fly into the future for J and whilst we’ve not spent more than a few hours since getting to know each other, will have a lasting connection.
  6. An overseas connection who had 12 months with me in 2013–14, took herself on her continued adventures and since 2020, has worked with me until motherhood called at the end of 2021. C and I have the most in-person time with each other in the past but will continue into the future remotely from different countries to build this business into its true future destiny. We haven’t been in the same physical space with each other since a few hours pre-pandemic 2020.
  1. We weren’t strongly established as a together team. I’d not worked with some of the team at all, and those I had, it was a while ago or in a different context. We’ve done all our establishment during the pandemic and all remotely. Yes, the majority of the team had experiences of work, but not with each other and not in this professional arena per se (HR, OD, Learning, Change).
  2. New colleagues have come into the fold, bonded and bound themselves to the mission, purpose, process, relationships and ethos. Some of us, without experience in the world of work. And adapted just fine. One has built on their experience with us, to enhance her career prospects elsewhere.
  3. We continue to develop ourselves and our connection to each other/the enterprise, and in many ways, advocate our ways as those that clients, partners, suppliers, and associates can adapt and adopt.
  4. We were always a flat organisation and have crafted the synchroniser role as a dispersed, all-in game without the need for a specific role. We openly craft our ways and build them in a togetherness fashion.
  • We’ve built this thing we call PTHR and its operating system and model. And maybe that’s how we’ve come to love “it”.
  • We’ve committed ourselves to the future of “it” and our respective spin-out ventures and products, services and impact. Maybe because we love “it”.
  • We’ve done so in the full knowledge that we’d be ultra-flexible in time on the clock and patterns of work and that it would always be remote-first. Which has helped us show love for “it”.
  • We’ve weathered some tricky things and challenges that would see some enterprises capitulate, distort or even collapse.
  1. It’s not being built by their own people. There’s no IKEA effect.
  2. They just don’t love the place (or work) enough anyway, and their roles aren’t designed or have enough impact so people are transacting through their work. This could be a real test of their alignment with the company’s mission/purpose, culture, values, team spirit and impact on the world.
  3. They aren’t paying attention to new colleagues enough and expecting them to sequence their way into building relationships and perpetuating the thought remote will always be second-rate for them with insufficient in-person time. It can work, but it needs to be thought about and enacted differently.
  4. They aren’t being innovative about innovation/creativity. Indeed the article talks to geo-dispersed teams proving you can do remote innovation without detriment to product or service innovation and impact.
  5. There are people in charge projecting their “this is my preference therefore it should be yours” about in-office working and perhaps are a little — or a lot — fearful about their own inability to adapt to a new way of being and doing work. And I won’t even mention their ego at having people around them as a manifestation of their power, ascendency and rank.
#TeamPTHR pthr.co.uk

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Perry Timms

Perry Timms

CEO PTHR |2x TEDx speaker | Author: Transformational HR + The Energized Workplace | HR Most Influential Thinker 2017–2021 | Soulboy + Northampton Town fan