The coronavirus pandemic is expected to fundamentally change the way many organizations operate for the foreseeable future. As governments and businesses around the world tell those with symptoms to self-quarantine and everyone else to practice social distancing, remote work is our new reality. How do corporate leaders, managers, and individual workers make this sudden shift? Tsedal Neeley, a professor at Harvard Business School, has spent two decades helping companies learn how to manage dispersed teams. In this edited Q&A, drawn from a recent HBR subscriber video call in which listeners were able to ask questions, she offers guidance on how to work productively at home, manage virtual meetings, and lead teams through this time of crisis.
Are organizations prepared for this sudden transition?
The scale and scope of what we’re seeing, with organizations of 5,000 or 10,000 employees asking people to work from home very quickly, is unprecedented. So, no, organizations are not set up for this.