Zaheera Soomar shares an article on organizational change and the factors to consider as remote work becomes the norm.
The status quo of how people in organizations work has been rapidly changing over the past couple of years with virtual and remote work becoming more common. Some of this has been driven by new generation talent requirements and cost reduction measures but the recent impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic have forced most, if not all, organizations to move in that direction faster than planned. This rapid transition to a remote working model can be classified as discontinuous change. Discontinuous change can be described as resulting from a rapid shift triggered by major internal problems or external shock (Senior, 2002 cited in By, 2005). In this instance, the external shock would be the Covid-19 pandemic.
While organizations are currently dealing with the immediate impacts of Covid-19 and the discontinuous change, the longer-term repercussions are beginning to kick in. WEF has indicated that the longer-term impacts could be worse than the 2008 economic recession (WEF, 2020). As a result of this and growing pressure on organizations to offer higher levels of safety and precaution at work, organizations are likely to consider continuing their remote based working conditions beyond 2020 (WEF, 2020).
WEFs predictions have proven true with Covid-19 numbers still souring and majority of organizations still catering for remote working conditions. Organizations are now proactively thinking through their strategy around remote work and ways of working for the longer period. This shift to a more deliberate and purposeful way of working is categorized as planned change. Planned change can be described as a more methodical pro-active approach to organizational change (By, 2005). Organizations will need to carefully think through the shift from discontinuous to planned change and what it means for their employees.
Key points include:
- Discontinuous and planned change
Employee’s experience and sensemaking
Remote and virtual teams
Read the full article, Organizational change: Factors to consider as remote and flexible work become the norm, on LinkedIn.