How to Integrate Professionals Who Grew up Working Remotely

19 May 2023
Reading: 2 min

Creative professionals are known for their chaotic nature and unique mindset. This is why many managers face the task of integrating the creative team into the business process and setting up their communication with the rest of the team. This, however, can be difficult to do in the real world. But what if we’re talking about adapting in times after a long period of remote work during a pandemic? Even an ordinary specialist will find it difficult to adapt to the dynamic pace of work after a couple of years in online mode. Creative professionals like designers, content creators, copywriters, etc. who haven’t got any other experience before, face even more obstacles. The following article looks at how to work with these guys and how to manage them properly for the benefit of the company.

How to Integrate Professionals Who Grew up Working Remotely

Context of the problem

On May 5, 2023, the World Health Organization officially announced the end of the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. For many companies, this means a permanent return to the familiar realities of the office space. It’s not a secret that the pandemic was a global crisis for many, so companies suffered losses due to lay-offs of employees. They were replaced by a new generation of specialists and some of them are exceptional workers. We are talking about those who have gone the way of professional formation in the conditions of isolation and online employment. And now the era of the first office job is upon them. It’s not necessarily the young people of Generation Z. They may be adults who decided to change their qualifications right before the pandemic.

The Quartz/Qualtrics Study says that 60% of people still working remotely are at least moderately excited to return to the office, while 18% are not excited at all. From such a perspective, it is becoming very difficult to unite the team. Especially when we are talking about the freshmen, whose behavior pattern is unclear. The main difficulty is the prejudice against such employees. This generation has its own ethics and a different work style. They may use a communication format that other generations interpret as unprofessional: writing incomplete sentences, using text messages, Instagram as a work tool instead of e-mail, chaotic productivity mode (messages at 4 am asking about something). They may not show up to work on time or attend insufficiently, although still complete all tasks before the deadlines.

On the one hand, the manager has an obviously simple solution — just fire such employees. They seem incomprehensible, and learning to communicate with them is like a parent trying to establish a common language with a troubled teen — that’s how different their views on the work process are. On the other hand, the new generation of specialists can bring a fresh perspective to familiar solutions, and they can be extremely talented and bring tangible benefits to the company. The need to get involved and spend effort on adapting such employees becoming a priority.

How to Integrate Professionals Who Grew up Working Remotely

How to help the new generation of professionals adapt?

Modern problems require modern solutions. We have prepared for you some ideas on how to least painlessly integrate the new generation of creative employees, who grew up mostly in the remote format of work, into your team.

Drop the preconceptions

If someone in a Zoom conversation isn’t live on camera, you can assume they’re lying in bed and not paying attention. If someone is tired all the time, it can be assumed that they are lazy. That’s what prejudice is. In reality, we have no idea what is going on in a person’s life or what productivity looks like to them.

Our responsibility is to create space accepting of different expressions of other peoples’ ideas and approaches, even if they seem alien and negative to you. Give employees the opportunity to open up and express themselves.

Create a comfortable environment

It’s about creating alliances between these newcomers and more experienced employees as part of building the corporate culture. Shifting the responsibility to employees to develop their own career trajectories is now unacceptable. People come from all walks of life, and they need a clear roadmap and a sense of security inside the team for personal and professional development.

How to Integrate Professionals Who Grew up Working Remotely

Initiate communication

If a young employee is consistently five minutes late or doesn’t respond to e-mails, we can assume they don’t know what they’re doing. At that time, we need to pause and ask if we have enough information to make a reasonable judgment. 

These situations require a conversation to understand the reason for this behavior and, if necessary, coaching to support their approach and guide them to a more professional way of communicating and contributing. They may break your rules, not because they want to break discipline in the company, but because they don’t know how to live that way. Instead of scolding and fining, offer your mentoring in adjustment.

Stay open for changes

No one doubts your many years of expertise and the effectiveness of the work plan you have laid out. However, do not forget the importance of the opinion of the team, including new employees. At first, you may feel like they’re suggesting something strange and unworkable. But be patient and give yourself time to see the problem through their eyes. Sometimes new generations can find the most unconventional and even more effective solutions. Even if behind them is a change in the usual state of affairs. Sometimes employees feel like black sheep, not because their ideas are really stupid, but because management is not ready to accept them.

How to Integrate Professionals Who Grew up Working Remotely

Final Thoughts

A modern, high-functioning team requires a lot of fundamental work. Of course, we live in an interesting time when we face difficulties in how to work with a whole new type of specialist. But learning the basics of communication with this generation of employees and integrating them into the rest of the team is the responsibility of any manager. 

The main problem here is an evaluation based on our former beliefs. Learn to recognize them and get rid of them. If we don’t implement solutions now, the best talent will go elsewhere. But don’t forget that breakthrough talent brings high profits and company growth.

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