Many in the commercial equipment finance and leasing industry have embraced remote working. Many companies have experienced an increase in productivity from their staff. A hybrid model has been adopted by most participants allowing staff to mix and match in-office days with remote working. The hybrid model has some obvious challenges. The hybrid model also creates opportunities for those employees who are willing to go the extra mile.
Recently, I visited a company which has offered a hybrid work environment for its employees. Productivity has improved over the last two years; and most of the employees enjoy the opportunity to work from home a few days a week. However, one younger, relatively new employee, who joined the company the beginning of 2019, has preferred to be in the office five days a week. He quickly determined that he needed to interact with whoever was available on any particular day to learn the culture of the company, to learn the company's processes and policies, and to better understand the business. The company never required him to be 100% in-person, but neither did management discourage his efforts. He often found that he was the first one to arrive at work and the last to leave. Other employees who were nearly 100% remote would often call him for help. He was a wealth of knowledge beyond the reports which were electronically available to everyone. He was recently promoted to a management position and is recognized as a leader. He has outperformed other, more seasoned, employees in his department. He has enhanced his personal career by going over and beyond what was expected - he believes that his in-person involvement has allowed his advancement to occur more quickly.
Many professionals in our industry have embraced remote working arrangements. However, I am concerned that many, especially younger, less experienced individuals, may be doing their careers a disservice. The goodwill and personal learning experiences that we gain from continuous personal interaction with our peers and management teams is not replaceable by sporadic electronic communications. The dynamics of the employee and employer relationship is currently favoring the employee (unemployment is very low and talent in the equipment finance and leasing industry is extremely hard to find). However, that dynamic can quickly change. Savvy professionals are taking every opportunity to enhance their personal value. They are going beyond what is expected of them and building internal goodwill within their organizations to enhance their personal careers. Just showing up may be more important than many believe it to be.
Wheeler Business Consulting works with banks, independents, captives, origination companies, and investors in the equipment leasing and finance arena. We provide training, strategic planning, and acquisition services. Scott Wheeler is available to discuss your long-term strategy, to assist your staff to maximize outcomes, and to better position your organization in the market.
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