By: Dan Pierson, Unsettled Team
2020. Do we all agree that it’s been quite a decade? Despite all the immense challenges we’ve faced, some positive developments have emerged.
One that we’re truly excited about, the Future of Remote Work, has very suddenly become the present — and companies around the world are racing to adapt. Of these organizations, the most innovative understand that the short term challenges represent long term opportunities.
At Unsettled, we believe tomorrow’s winners will seize today’s moment of dramatic change to fully invest in building strong, resilient cultures that treat remote work as a feature, and not a bug. That’s why today, after dozens of conversations with companies across the globe, and successful pilot programs with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 50 household names, Unsettled is excited to share our approach to helping companies shape this exciting future.
Brave new world, meet Unsettled Team Journeys™, our proprietary framework that guides companies to make the most of remote work. Through live, virtual experiences facilitated by our expert team, and introspective, self-completed, offline exercises, we:
- Help your team surface what’s working at your company, and what’s not
- Build organizational consensus for the solutions to your most pressing problems
- Develop a comprehensive set of best practices, both across your organization, and for each individual teammate
The result of our initial engagement is a go-to, ever-evolving resource that your team can always reference to understand how to work most effectively together. From this foundation, we offer a full suite of solutions to continue your evolution towards building a more productive, more humane workplace.
We think it’s the perfect time to release this product. In the chaotic, worldwide shift from the office to remote work more than six months ago, counterproductive and unhealthy habits became the standard at many companies. Now, those styles of communication and collaboration have become deep grooves. In true Unsettled fashion, we’re here to shake things up a bit, and help your organization break out of those negative routines and into a collaborative, growth-focused remote mindset.
As with all Unsettled, experiences, co-creation and participation are central to our process here. Over five years of building a fully distributed organization, we’ve come to our own realizations about what works for the Unsettled team. But our own deep experimentation with remote work, and the expertise that we’ve gained through it, has taught us an important lesson: every company has a different style, and unique needs and objectives. We recognize that we don’t come to you with preconceived notions answers. Instead, our job is to give our partners smart prompts, and intentional questions, so that the people in your company can discover their very own ideal remote environment.
Much like any Unsettled story, we didn’t come to this overnight. It’s been a years-long process of development and evolution, applying our experience of running over 100 in-person and virtual retreats for thousands of professionals around the world to benefit unique companies willing to make a change. Team Journeys™ takes our learnings from designing and facilitating personal and professional development programming around the world, and adds the hard-won lessons of building our own organization as a fully distributed, remote team from Day One.
Let’s look at two hypothetical businesses, to see how all of this plays out in practice:
Business A was completely unprepared for the shift to remote, and as 2020 dragged on, has proven unwilling and/or unable to invest in figuring it out. Everything is ad hoc, and it shows. New ideas that formerly would have been acted upon are lost to the ether, people feel burned out and start to leave, and the company sees a slow 10% decline across key tracked metrics.
Business B faced the same serious challenges early on — but as it became clear that WFH would extend into 2021 (and perhaps beyond), leadership decided they needed to invest in adapting to this “new normal”. They confronted challenges head-on, and through concerted effort across the organization, employees across all levels of Business B developed the mindset, culture, (and eventually) the processes to reap the benefits of remote work. They see a 10% net gain in seized opportunities for collaboration, productivity, and the sourcing, hiring, and retention of the best people.
It comes down to simple math: if Business A loses 10% and Business B gains 10%, the result is a massive 20% gap across the very things that determine success in business, and the next batch of winners and losers in every industry.
We’re hard pressed to think of the last time a global shift introduced such a sudden and dramatic opportunity for innovative companies to distance themselves from the pack. But for each organization, seizing the moment will look different, which is why we’re excited to guide forward-thinking orgs towards their own unique discoveries.
Earlier, we mentioned a few of our pilot Team Journeys™ experiences. The result of Unsettled’s partnership with these organizations? Happier, more connected companies that continue to foster an environment of collaboration as the norm, rather than the exception.
If this resonates with what you’ve seen from your team in the time since Covid-19 upended our work and lives – we’d love to hear from you.
Read the Unsettled Future of Remote Work Report 2020 here!