Updated: Dec 4, 2020
Hello remote working friends. Today we're going to talk about the key traits that are necessary to work from home or what you should look for in your remote workers. Although I'm going to say that these are key traits, since everybody now is pretty much working from home anyway, I want you to look at the strengths and weaknesses of your current workers that are now remote. Look at their what things you can help to cultivate or what you can help them improve so that it can be better in the remote working environment.
This (video) is portion from my session at the AIA ‘19 Conference on Architecture. I'm just breaking it down into little bits that I can share with everybody on social media. I am also bringing it up to date with our current situation.
When we talk about any worker a thriving in a virtual office environment, the number one thing is that (remote workers) need to be self-motivated persons to really thrive. If the worker is someone you need to look over their shoulder a lot, when moved to remote working you're going need more frequent check-ins with them. These are the key traits for the ideal remote worker, so again look at how you can cultivate the people you already have.
(A remote worker should have) developed verbal and graphic communication still skills What I mean by verbal and graphic skills is that as architects we are able to draw but we also need to be able to communicate verbally those graphic ideas. A remote worker should be comfortable using verbal communication to communicate graphic ideas.
Remote workers also need to be able to follow directions and tasks without supervision. I mean you can't look busy in a remote working environment. You can’t pretend to be busy. That doesn't work. You have to get tasks done. You need to make sure that you're talking to people about how to get their tasks accomplished. Then the communications from managers to employees is really important. Talk to them about your expectations when tasks need to be done, how you expect things to be done and of course everything should be written down as instructions so that they can re review that without calling you or checking in with you about what they're supposed to do. Written communications are key.
Let's talk about evaluating ourselves whether we can be able to be successful working remotely and what things we need to work. One, a self-motivated person who can work anytime or anywhere without being prompted to work.
Have the skills to accomplish the work without needing to seek daily or hourly advice from others. If you have an entry level person, you're going to need to spend more time working with them to make sure that they are able to get up to the skills to accomplish the work. A new mindset is that it's not about the hours you put into the day but the tasks that you're able to accomplish. A remote worker should be comfortable using verbal communication to communicate those graphic ideas.
These four traits are key. If you have people who have lacking some of those skills, find ways to help them. Verbal communication is important in being able to communicate those graphic ideas because if you can't get into a video conference and you can't share each other’s screen you need to be able to talk about the methods and means of construction practices or details or anything in design without being able to have that visual or graphic component in front of you.
If you have any questions or you want me to address something specifically please contact me. you can send me an email (virtualoffice at jkretschmer.com) or you can comment on social media. I will try to address some of your questions as they come up. Thank you.
Key terms: work from home, WFH, remote working, virtual office, virtual firm, architecture firm, architect office, architect practice, architectural practice.