As we continue to watch and read the news of what’s happening right now, it might not seem like focusing on the future should be a priority. The future of how we will live, how we will communicate and, of course, how we will work.
As Docebo’s CEO, it is my duty to always be looking ahead, but I must also understand and empathize with what’s going on in the here and now. I have no doubt CEOs around the world share that sentiment.
We are in a fortunate position at Docebo. As a software company, we have been able to continue operating with minimal disruption, but I am very aware that this isn’t the case for all companies, including a number of our customers.
With our entire global workforce now working from home, this presented a unique opportunity to better understand how the team is navigating this new world of work.
We continually monitor KPI’s and the team mood with periodical surveys across different offices, so this time we used a survey to understand how our people are working from home, what tools they’re using, and, if they’re missing anything, what they need.
I want to share some of the feedback and data with you to help guide your future decisions for your organization:
“I can’t see a reality where organizations don’t embrace remote work on a larger scale after the current challenges recede. Those that have been hesitant in the past will be forced to employ it and, for many, the benefits outside of a pandemic environment will become evident. This, in turn, will accelerate the adoption of more virtual and digital learning.”
– David Wentworth, Principal Analyst, at Brandon Hall Group
“As a very communicative and united team, we do miss our colleagues and that sense of being together, in person, around a table but nothing that you can’t solve with good planning.
We’ve also put in place a daily 10-min morning virtual coffee, in which we chit-chat and discuss anything and try not to talk about work-related stuff.”
– Andrea Biraghi, Head of Design, Docebo
“As a sales organization, we have had to adapt to our new normal including establishing new workflows and processes not only to keep our prospects and pipeline engaged but to keep each other engaged. We are working hard together to keep positive, stay focussed on our goals, and have fun. The team has really enjoyed meeting each other’s families (including pets!) and actually feels closer to one another! The only drawback is that we aren’t able to ring the bell (Toronto) or hit the gong (Athens) when welcoming a new client to our family. Virtual high fives are making do for now.”
– Chris Bondarenko, VP of Sales – NA, Docebo
“We have all enjoyed the lack of distractions (we are more productive) and ease of just hopping on a call. No need to book rooms or worry about the noise level. We are using slack more than ever, but do miss just being able to quickly turn to your neighbor to ask a question.”
– Amy Elrod, Customer Success Team Leader – NA, Docebo
“The world changed overnight. With your employees and customers now working from home, every L&D professional in the world has an updated mission to assess their instructor-led training exposure and create a plan to migrate to virtual live and self-paced online content immediately. Virtual working is here to stay and our jobs as L&D professionals will be to support and enable professional development virtually.”
– John Leh, CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning
How Will This Shape The Future of Work?
A lot of our people are finding the transition to remote working straightforward with over 90% saying they feel more productive or just as productive at home.
- Interestingly, the top advantages of working from home were focused on having more time for family and other activities, rather than purely work-focused advantages. This undoubtedly benefits their work because people are happier and therefore more engaged.
- While we can help our people to set up the best working from home environments with tech and tools, some things can’t be replaced. Mostly, the sense of community and energy from being together in person.
- A lack of in-person communication and collaboration was the top reason why some people don’t feel as engaged at home.
- Unsurprisingly, video chats are now the most effective tool and I would say it has basically replaced making phone calls.
If you want people to succeed in working from home, you have to enable them with the right equipment, support, and communication rituals. But also be mindful that success depends a lot on someone’s situation, role, and personality – if they live alone or not, if they have distractions at home, if they commute a lot or not, and whether they have to work with a lot of different teams, both internally and externally.
Looking forward, this is where a hybrid approach would be most effective, giving flexibility to those who might want to be in the office together and those who need to be home more often.
It’s Time to Be More Human
The future of work will change – that is a given. But where I see the opportunity for companies of all types and all industries is in doing 4 simple things:
More communication: Reach out to your people more often than you think you should. Ask them what they are facing and how you can help. You don’t know all the answers.
More rituals: Daily routines and rituals are specific actions that have a positive emotion attached to them. I have held regular webinars with our entire staff to update and reassure them and help keep us productive during the lockdown. Our leaders are also holding informal morning ‘stand-ups’ for their teams as well as mid-afternoon team breaks and frequently sharing remote working ‘tips & tricks’.
More trust: You have trusted your leaders and managers to hire smart people, now trust your people to make decisions and do their jobs. Providing flexibility to someone who has children at home is all about trusting them to make it work.
Be more human: Above all, don’t forget that we’re all human. We laugh, we cry, we have good times and we have bad times. Don’t just create a place for people to work – create a sense of belonging.
Stay safe and stay healthy.
CEO & Founder