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How to manage the hidden risks in remote work | MIT Sloan

Monitor communication

The quality of online conversations can lack much of the interpersonal richness present in in-person discussions.

Conversations could be monitored with RIFF Analytics, for example, that uses artificial intelligence to analyze online conversation dynamics and provide real-time personalized feedback to each participant: Is anybody dominating the conversation? Is discussion as inclusive as it should be?

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How to manage the hidden risks in remote work | MIT Sloan

How to manage the hidden risks in remote work | MIT Sloan

https://mitsloan.mit.edu/ideas-made-to-matter/how-to-manage-hidden-risks-remote-work

mitsloan.mit.edu

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Key Ideas

Hidden problems

Companies are struggling to balance employee and public health with the maintenance of basic operations. The obvious answer is to go virtual and work from home.

But it is not that simple. Companies gain a subtle but profound value from social interaction. Productivity and sound decision-making rely heavily on informal communication, like coffee breaks. Employee trust relies on daily in-person interactions like nods of courtesy, morning greetings, and so on. Specific strategies can be implemented to preserve the social fabric essential to success.

Monitor communication

The quality of online conversations can lack much of the interpersonal richness present in in-person discussions.

Conversations could be monitored with RIFF Analytics, for example, that uses artificial intelligence to analyze online conversation dynamics and provide real-time personalized feedback to each participant: Is anybody dominating the conversation? Is discussion as inclusive as it should be?

Maintain inclusivity

When working remotely, physical distance can quickly develop into psychological distance. Companies need to take extra care to include people in decision-making.

  • One method is secret voting on new ideas to prevent the loud guy from taking over.
  • Another method is Idea markets, where colleagues can vote new ideas up or down.

Encourage cohesion

  • Companies could reward groups with social incentives. It could take the form of peer reward, where people working in a group vote for colleagues who have been helpful.
  • Consider a remote movie viewing among coworkers to reinforce social ties.
  • People can also partner up for weekly discussions about challenges outside of work, like childcare.

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