This article, based on a study of workers at a professional services firm as they transitioned to remote work, identifies three categories of interpersonal interactions:
- Task interactions, when team members collaborate on activities that directly contribute to output
- Process interactions, such as the agenda-setting that structures a team’s work by laying out responsibilities and timelines
- Relationship interactions in which colleagues support each other and share skills.
By labelling interactions and tracking the quality of scheduled time, managers can systematically improve collaboration.
Flexible working creates ambivalent and contradictory experiences,
We know little about the impact that these contradictory experiences have on workers’ well-being. Flexible working has been associated with positive employee outcomes (such as increased happiness and engagement) but has also been argued to encourage work intensification, detachment problems or burnout.
This article suggests adopting a paradox approach may be a way to move forward in understanding these contradictions.
The results of a recent Microsoft study of 31,000 full-time employed or self-employed workers across 31 markets show that 70% desire some type of flexible work options in the future.
However almost two-thirds said that they were ‘craving’ more in-person time with their teams and 37% of the global workforce complained that their companies were ‘asking too much of them’ when out of the office. About 54% feel overworked and meetings are significantly longer.
This points to the continued importance of some face to face contact for brainstorming, connectivity, productivity and creativity.