The new normal part 2: remote working

A common thought is that when we emerge from the current ‘lockdown’ situation, one of the elements of the ‘new normal’ will be a wider embracing of remote working. The upsides to this for the individual worker being for many a much reduced journey time to work (but that has an impact on decompressing/differentiating work from home) and the ability to better focus on work (avoiding the challenges of open plan offices); upsides for the business being a potential to reduce the size of the office space required and the ideal of greater worker productivity. There are though a set of success factors emerging for such remote work driven productivity that are being crystalised through our current experiences:

Children; need to be in school or daycare. Links to the 2 factors below

Space; needs to be dedicated during the working day

Privacy; free from interruption

Choice; At the moment for many there is none but on the ‘other side’ it needs to be the workers wish when to work remotely.

Aptitude; the ability to fully utilise the enabling technology

There are (at least) 2 big reasons why remote working shouldn’t become a 5 day a week norm:

Social company; humans need contact otherwise we can feel isolated, become lonely and develop depression. No technological solution can overcome this need.

Innovation; face to face contact is essential for developing new ideas, and new ideas are becoming harder to find….

Categorized as Post

By Matthew Payne

Working to make the most of the resources available to others to enable them to be more successful. Using facilitative leadership and process management to get things done, and really make a difference! Engaging with individuals and teams in both the public and private sectors.


  1. I think you make some great points here Matthew. Which for me completely tie into my point 4 “What is it we really care about that working from home can and cannot give us” This needs to be part of our thinking as we move out from lockdown so we keep hold of the helpful things and make sure we don’t go back to the things that were not working. Thanks for your link.

  2. I think you have captured exactly what it is that I am trying to articulate; ‘what is that we care about that remote working supports and what doesn’t it support’ both from an individual and business perspective. I want us to be able to shape the new normal proactively based on sound thinking not simply a ‘making sense’ of adversity. Thanks Sue

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