“If people are burnt out and exhausted, I don’t want them to pretend to be working. I want to know that they’ve gone skipping down the beach to touch some grass like ‘yes, that’s great, go do that’!” - Dina Mohammad-Laity
The panel discussion focused on how we can design our remote workspaces to enhance teamwork, engagement, communication, collaboration, and more—a topic we’re pretty passionate about here at alfii. Let’s explore the valuable insights she shared with the audience (and her alfii cheerleaders).
Joined by Emma Davies MCIPD and co-founder of Evolve People Network—who moderated the panel—and fellow panelists Premila Braganza, and Andy Fieldhouse, the discussion centered on creating and maintaining healthy work environments as we enter a new world of work.
Needless to say, many are shifting into more remote-and-flexible working conditions, and with that, comes inevitable skepticism and resistance. When asked “how can we leverage technology to facilitate smoother transitions between remote and in-office work while fostering a sense of connection and collaboration among employees?” Dina’s keyword of the moment was being “intentional.” Having had years of experience working remotely and succeeding at it from all over the world, she emphasized the importance of fostering intentional connection and collaboration among employees.
One key focus was on what “virtual” workspaces can look like for remote teams, as well as considering the diverse needs of employees in a world that’s shifting ever-so-quickly (and dramatically). To add to that, she shed light on important points related to creating a supportive and inclusive workspace no matter where employees work from; which ultimately leads us to set ourselves up for success with the way we address remote work.
Here are some of our favorite snippets from Dina:
- Be intentional about every part of the process. This might look like blocking your calendar for coffee break and working out, or taking 5 minutes in the beginning of a Zoom meeting for small talk and fun chats.
- These transitions don’t just happen like magic—have a plan. Don’t migrate the same in-office methods for remote conditions.
- Choose a central platform for team engagement and communication. For example, alfii’s main platform is Slack; and it’s basically our virtual office, with channels for memes, music sharing, travel photos, and more!
- Have clear guidelines for how your platforms and tools will be used, for communication, meetings, inclusion and more.
Dina further explained, “It’s 2023 and flexibility has become an expectation. It’s important to define upfront what flexibility means in your specific business first because it can mean different things for different industries, depending on how you work. And again it’s about being intentional, that’s my word of the day… Imagine that you have a 2x2 matrix of accountability and autonomy as two vital inputs that you can take back to the CFO to say hey look ‘here’s where we are on this chart’”
When asked about how to measure productivity over presenteeism, Dina giggled, “Presenteeism has always been a thing, right? You know, the jacket on the back of the chair… It’s quite funny,” she continued “but having more employees working remotely has definitely nudged people towards thinking about this question more…”
To measure productivity over presenteeism, Dina explained, “It’s important to have tools and metrics that track outcomes and real impact as a result of the work that someone is doing… As well as consciously removing all biases, reducing a culture of rewarding overwork, celebrating rest and creating a balance between work and life and finally, overall better management and taking more notice of details. For example, how are employees experiencing their work, what are they actually delivering, what are the outcomes, and how does that measure the bottom line?”
A little bit about Dina
Dina's credentials and career trajectory have established her as a prominent, award-winning figure in the tech industry. Recognized for her expertise in a variety of domains, she’s held key positions in renowned companies such as Talabat (Delivery Hero MENA), Property Finder, Feeld, Astrolabs, Zoopla Property Group, and more.
Her proficiency in data platform engineering, product analytics, data-driven growth, and data product management has propelled her to the forefront of the industry. Not only that, but Dina is also a seasoned pro (and hardcore advocate) when it comes to all things remote and flexible work, and she’s taken her work with her all over the world!
Workspace summit event details
The Workspace Summit is an extraordinary assembly of intellects, providing a unique platform for people to connect, acquire knowledge, and explore the most recent advancements aimed at improving the overall wellbeing of the workplace on every level.
Throughout two decades, Workspace has established itself as the ultimate hub for professionals in the industry, serving as the top destination for meaningful collaborations with the brightest minds in the field. Nowhere else in the region can you find such a comprehensive collection of cutting-edge innovations that elevate the employee experience, alongside insightful presentations by experts who are dedicated to reshaping the future of work environments. This 3-day event was truly a memorable experience for all attendees.
Keep an eye out for the next one!
Follow us on LinkedIn to see some more coverage from Dina’s awesome panel discussion with the Evolve People Network, and stay tuned for many more captivating talks with the faces behind your HR platform of choice: alfii.