Recruiters
June 17, 2020

Working in Overly Collaborative Spaces vs. Working Remotely

Collaboration helps workers across many different industries to come together to enhance their problem-solving techniques. In turn, extra-milers come out of the woodwork, exposing a potential weakness to organizations. Can remote working be an answer to some of these issues?
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In traditional or even newly designed open office spaces, collaboration has been praised in the 21st century as a hallmark of the new way to do business and create meaningful impact while cross into new frontiers cross-sectorally. Collaboration spans from the social science sector, where researchers meet in groups, plan conferences, and give feedback on each other approaches and methodologies to the IT, logistics and Communications sector where the value of information is in itself a collaborative resource. Collaboration is. in essence, teamwork utilized to produce something, according to an HBR source, “…the time spent by managers and employees in collaborative activities has ballooned by 50% or more in the last two decades”.

Thus, what we have really started to see across firms in the U.S. and abroad is the conception of collaboration as a hailed tactic for good.

The extra-miler and remote working

However, collaboration is changing with the influx of so many remote workers due to Covid-19. This societal shift has both good and bad consequences for highly productive workers. One of them is getting a break from helping others because some employees value is so high that they have become “extra-milers” in the traditional office space.

Extra-milers are essentially employees of an organization that other co-workers know is highly productive and trust to ask questions because of their speed and efficiency with helping other people. Being an extra-miler has its own pros and cons because on the one hand you are a highly efficient and invaluable employee of an organization, but on the other, too many people distract you during the working day with their problems because they trust you’re the only one able to answer their questions.

In turn, an extra-milers energy, or the energy they have when they are on the clock, gets depleted at a rapid rate which can weigh down the whole organization when that person is no longer available for a line of questions.

Remote work, which has been criticized by some as too isolating and with not enough means to effectively communicate, can really help extra-milers by allowing these individuals more independence, more physical distance from employees who possibly interrupt with questions, and also more time for the extra-miler to prioritize their tasks and responsibilities without being overwhelmed.

The mediums do exist for remote employees, who are highly valued, to delegate tasks more effectively and also to CC other employees when issues arise and other voices are needed in the process of solving problems.

Overall, the remote aspect might take more psychological pressure off extra-milers, as entire organizations must understand that when going remote, communication has to be at its best and most strategic level, and therefore extraneous questions you might ask in an open office space simply become less important when you are remote working, trying to hit the same deadlines.

Information vs. Energy

For the informative extra-miler that can seem like a savior in the open office, there is still the possibility that this employee will still be able to relay quick messages to employees via Email, Facebook chat, WhatsApp, and others. But there are other types of extra-milers such as the organizational enthusiast, the extra-miler that helps people with their energy levels and inspires collaboration by having a strong presence, a strong voice, and a positivist attitude.

Sometimes, taking these people out of the open office environment and putting them into remote roles can take away their effectiveness as this type of extra-miler. A few ways to combat this and make sure these employees are still able to inspire group morale include:

1.     Getting these co-workers to communicate through videoconference instead of chats, as the tone of a message can be lost through text but is never lost when heard aloud

2.     Having monthly employee spotlights, highlighting an exciting development or accomplishment that was made by another co-worker. This will help employees recognize that new extra-milers can emerge at any time

TagsRemote workCollaboration
Michael Robbins
Writer
Michael is a writer that helps organizations align their mission and values to a wide audience.

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RecruitersJune 17, 2020
Working in Overly Collaborative Spaces vs. Working Remotely
Collaboration helps workers across many different industries to come together to enhance their problem-solving techniques. In turn, extra-milers come out of the woodwork, exposing a potential weakness to organizations. Can remote working be an answer to some of these issues?

In traditional or even newly designed open office spaces, collaboration has been praised in the 21st century as a hallmark of the new way to do business and create meaningful impact while cross into new frontiers cross-sectorally. Collaboration spans from the social science sector, where researchers meet in groups, plan conferences, and give feedback on each other approaches and methodologies to the IT, logistics and Communications sector where the value of information is in itself a collaborative resource. Collaboration is. in essence, teamwork utilized to produce something, according to an HBR source, “…the time spent by managers and employees in collaborative activities has ballooned by 50% or more in the last two decades”.

Thus, what we have really started to see across firms in the U.S. and abroad is the conception of collaboration as a hailed tactic for good.

The extra-miler and remote working

However, collaboration is changing with the influx of so many remote workers due to Covid-19. This societal shift has both good and bad consequences for highly productive workers. One of them is getting a break from helping others because some employees value is so high that they have become “extra-milers” in the traditional office space.

Extra-milers are essentially employees of an organization that other co-workers know is highly productive and trust to ask questions because of their speed and efficiency with helping other people. Being an extra-miler has its own pros and cons because on the one hand you are a highly efficient and invaluable employee of an organization, but on the other, too many people distract you during the working day with their problems because they trust you’re the only one able to answer their questions.

In turn, an extra-milers energy, or the energy they have when they are on the clock, gets depleted at a rapid rate which can weigh down the whole organization when that person is no longer available for a line of questions.

Remote work, which has been criticized by some as too isolating and with not enough means to effectively communicate, can really help extra-milers by allowing these individuals more independence, more physical distance from employees who possibly interrupt with questions, and also more time for the extra-miler to prioritize their tasks and responsibilities without being overwhelmed.

The mediums do exist for remote employees, who are highly valued, to delegate tasks more effectively and also to CC other employees when issues arise and other voices are needed in the process of solving problems.

Overall, the remote aspect might take more psychological pressure off extra-milers, as entire organizations must understand that when going remote, communication has to be at its best and most strategic level, and therefore extraneous questions you might ask in an open office space simply become less important when you are remote working, trying to hit the same deadlines.

Information vs. Energy

For the informative extra-miler that can seem like a savior in the open office, there is still the possibility that this employee will still be able to relay quick messages to employees via Email, Facebook chat, WhatsApp, and others. But there are other types of extra-milers such as the organizational enthusiast, the extra-miler that helps people with their energy levels and inspires collaboration by having a strong presence, a strong voice, and a positivist attitude.

Sometimes, taking these people out of the open office environment and putting them into remote roles can take away their effectiveness as this type of extra-miler. A few ways to combat this and make sure these employees are still able to inspire group morale include:

1.     Getting these co-workers to communicate through videoconference instead of chats, as the tone of a message can be lost through text but is never lost when heard aloud

2.     Having monthly employee spotlights, highlighting an exciting development or accomplishment that was made by another co-worker. This will help employees recognize that new extra-milers can emerge at any time

Remote work
Collaboration
About the author
Michael Robbins -Writer
Michael is a writer that helps organizations align their mission and values to a wide audience.

Related Articles