Expert views on the different ways Covid-19 has altered our working lives and how we can navigate them.
Several factors are already impacting our future work lives: the rise of digital nomads, the opportunities for greater collaboration and mixing the digital workplace with the physical.
More compassionate leadership needed
To lead distributed teams well, you need to be significantly more compassionate as a leader and have high emotional intelligence (EQ). As you’re not physically co-located and can’t see what’s ‘going on’ in the usual way, you need to stay in touch more with your people. And you will need to focus on pulling the team together, inspiring and motivating them.
What others areas should startups and scaleups consider to maintain motivated and creative teams when working remotely long term?
The rise of digital nomads
“The more freedom you give a worker, the better it is for their wellbeing. If I say ‘You can work from anywhere’ then that person can make the best use of their time. They can go to Vietnam or Rio and work from there.
Quality of life and mental wellbeing is more important for the new generation. They don’t want free beer on a Friday – they want to be able to make their own choices,” says Danish Soomro, founder of Visadb.io, a globetrotting entrepreneur who believes that freedom and productivity go hand-in-hand.
How startups can foster collaboration in a virtual world
Collaboration outside your organisation, with other startups or corporates, or with your customers to better understand their needs, can be more effective in a physical environment.
While angel investors have reported that it’s easier to attend virtual pitches during lockdown, they also said that building trust in founders is much harder if you haven’t met them in person.
Some entrepreneurs have found it difficult to find partners and customers, while others have been able to organise meetings and do deals more quickly because diaries are less busy without the need to travel or attend physical events.
Blend the physical and digital
Barclays Ventures CEO Ben Davey says that Covid-19 has forced his teams and their networks to learn how to blend physical engagement with digital engagement. With this week marking the fifth birthday of Rise, Ben talks about the work Rise has done since its launch, working with the FinTech community, creating networks and working with early stage firms to help them “effectively get onto their second or third rung of the ladder, and help them grow”.
Lean into technology
More than 80% of staff at hospitality tech business Criton have voted to work remotely in the future, while the other 17% said they don't feel comfortable being in the office right now. Technology has allowed Criton to be more efficient during this time, with its sales cycle reduced from four months to six days. CEO and Founder Julie Grieve says all startups should lean into technology to help their staff become more efficient.