This new data from Microsoft shows most companies new to remote work are stuck in “Synchronous Remote Work” or at Level 2 of the 5-Level remote work maturity model.
Ctrl + C (in-person ways of working)
Ctrl + V (replicate the above online)
MEETINGS: The 148% increase in meetings is a clear sign of this. A mature remote work environment has less meetings not more! In fact, in most cases meetings, if they are necessary are asynchronous.
EMAIL: Trying to use email to collaborate is a terrible experience. Instead there are vastly superior, threaded, visible to all conversations that can take place in MS Teams Channels for example. (We don’t email internally at all – all our internal conversations happen in Channels.)
CHAT: Another sure sign of Synchrounous Remote Work. To be clear chat does play a role but like with meetings in mature remote work environments there is a preference to more deliberate asynchronous written communication especially for content that needs to be preserved long-term.
DOCS: This is likely the only encouraging thing about the data, as working collaboratively on a document with colleagues is way more efficient than emailing it around. Also with an online document you have a single source of truth.
For teams that are wanting to embrace remote work on a permanent basis, and most smart leadership teams will do so, it does require a brief pause to:
- Learn what the long established remote work practices are and
- Analyze how these can be integrated into their business.
This is the only way to ensure long-term sustainable remote work.