The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted how we do our work in unprecedented ways—some of which have arguably been positive. While many people have expressed a desire to return to their workplace after 16 months in lockdown, 41% of Americans want to continue working remotely on a part-time, hybrid basis because they’ve experienced an improved work-life balance. As remote work continues to reshape the policies of many large companies—including those who are beginning to encourage their employees to return to their physical offices, even if just part time—it’s important to step back and reflect on what we’ve learned from this shift to remote work. Companies must continue to help employees feel supported and satisfied in their jobs—wherever they are.
In this column, which is Part 1 of a two-part series, I’ll share my experiences with managing remote UX professionals and teams. I’ll provide some tips for avoiding pitfalls that could arise if managers and leaders are not mindful of how remote work affects their employees. Although I’m writing this column from a manager’s point of view, anyone can work with their manager or other leaders in their company to foster a positive, remote-working environment. I’ll cover the following tips in Part 1:
offering flexibility in camera readiness
creating safe spaces for employees to vent and connect
A year has passed since COVID-19 turned our personal and professional lives upside down. There are almost infinite ways in which to reflect on this milestone: how different countries handled the spread of the virus, how families coped with remote learning, how many memorable moments we missed because we didn’t travel or attend graduations or weddings, and how many memories we created simply by staying at home. But one way to reflect on this past year is how companies and employees have changed their expectations for where and how people work.
Very suddenly in March 2020, COVID-19 forced most employees to work remotely—at least at companies whose operations allowed it. Companies had to figure out quickly how to enable employees to work from home—especially organizations who had not previously established a remote-working policy. Different employees likely had very disparate reactions to working from home, depending on whether they had previously been accustomed to it, had elders or children who required care or home schooling, and so on. Most companies likely assumed that this was temporary—only to realize by late spring that it wasn’t. As the initial, triage phase of remote working plateaued and operations within companies stabilized, many companies realized that they should use this situation as an opportunity to rethink the future of work for all their employees. Read More
This month in Ask UXmatters, our expert panel discusses how to create UX designs remotely, working with your product team and other stakeholders. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many teams have found themselves working remotely for the first time. So learning how to collaborate effectively while working remotely is essential to your success at this time.
Although the goals of your projects remain unchanged, you’ve lost your normal ways of working. Plus, many UX professionals are simultaneously supporting their children’s remote learning and taking care of pets during the work day. Fortunately, there are many tools and methods that can help us to adapt. Most of all, our indomitable human spirit makes us willing to do whatever is necessary to continue our work. Read More