Working decentrally and remaining capable of action

Working decentrally and remaining capable of action
07 Apr 2020

How companies ensure real capacity to act in the home office as well.


Home office solutions have been part of the fixed instruments of work organisation for some years now. However, they are still the exception rather than the rule, partly because not every activity is suitable for being carried out at home on a laptop. Social contacts and direct interaction in the office create identity, a multitude of spontaneously arising topics can be dealt with more quickly and flexibly. In order to remain capable of acting in the corona crisis, more and more companies are now forced to switch to decentralized home office solutions. But how does that actually work? A small guide.

1. Videoconference
See you around: Daily video conferences ensure that you can work from any location. Especially in times of crisis, the secret of success consists of more than just the technical guarantee of video conferences. It is at least as important now that the affected workforces develop a “sense of unity”. The management floor has a special responsibility in this respect: it is important that managers are always accessible and communicate authentically beyond video conferencing. In Corona times, many companies experience that staff and management noticeably “move together” and therefore remain capable of acting.

2. equipment
Companies are well advised to take the technical requirements for home office solutions just as seriously as the concern for the successful continuation of their business. In addition to the company’s own IT support, for example with regard to the availability of the technical infrastructure, this also includes the provision of professional equipment. Apart from the obvious technical benefit, there is something else that plays a role here: employees create additional motivation and sense of responsibility. This makes it easier to achieve the accustomed performance potential even under difficult conditions and helps to ensure that the company remains capable of acting.

3. structure
For many employees who have been “promoted” to the home office, the new work situation is unfamiliar. In addition, there is understandable unease at the thought of the global crisis and the associated uncertainty. Therefore it is all the more important to abstract and to provide clear structures. The most precise timing possible and thus the separation of professional and private life are essential. An example: Especially in the home office there must be a defined start and end of work! Flowing boundaries tend to be counterproductive. The dosage of the daily media consumption is also supporting the structure. Sure: Facts help against diffuse fears – but they can also intensify them in case of overdosage. It is therefore important not to surf uncontrolled from one bad news to the next. This impairs performance and ability to act! A little insider tip for maintaining a professional structure: Appear in the home office in the same clothes you would wear in the office.

4. decisions
What is the capacity to act in addition to technical, social and psychological factors? Real capacity to act requires functioning decision-making processes. In times of the home office, decisions are made in video conferences. They are not yet sealed there. Decisions always depend on legally binding signatures – especially when they are made at board level. And even more so when, in view of often existential issues, decisions have to be made faster than usual. Compared to the usual analogous processes, electronic signatures are more than an alternative in times of limited personal contacts. With electronic signatures, decisions from the home office can not only be made legally secure, but also much faster than with signatures on paper.

5. fresh air
Go for a walk (with the dog) regularly!