Assessing Your Remote-First Readiness

by | Jun 22, 2022 | Trends of working remotely

Digital maturity and remote readiness are inextricably linked. Imagine, your business shows the top-level digital maturity stage to harvest the benefits of a genuinely remote business, that is, if you wish to outperform any in-person businesses.

But why is transforming into remote-first still a big challenge for many leaders? When speaking with leaders, they often describe symptoms, such as low engagement in remote working and poor collaboration and, as a result, a big void in the innovation pipeline. A dry innovation pipeline jeopardises your business, to say the least.

What we see missing in these conversations is the lack of the bigger picture about the current stage of maturity of the business to progress to remote-first.

Applying the 5-stage Digital Maturity model

The Remote Business Maturity Assessment helps business leaders evaluate the organisation’s readiness to unlock the benefits of remote work.

We evaluate the digital maturity of your processes and leadership capabilities and report on their effectiveness for remote-first. For this purpose, let us introduce the 5-stage Digital Maturity Model and the connected Cyberconnecting Remote Business Maturity Assessment. Let us establish a few facts first.

Remote work has been out there for centuries

Remote working has existed for more than a decade at various maturity levels. The pandemic boosted the shift to remote work, often just unproductively replicating the processes from the physical to the virtual environment. At the beginning of the shift to remote work, leaders and team members seemed to have accepted that ‘work would happen at home’ for a while. Still, they replicated what they were doing in the office in a ‘remote’ setting, mostly leading to fatigue and poor results.

Remote culture needs further development

In this process, most leaders failed to consider the implications for organisational culture. Remember that you can take a thriving remote culture back to the coffee machine if ever needed. You cannot simply migrate the culture from the physical environment to the remote world of work. It’s doomed to fail.

Remote work is here to stay

Despite the call back to the office expressed by some leaders for various reasons, remote work is here to stay. Even now, many team leaders and members still struggle to leverage its benefits fully.

The Need for the Remote Business Design Model

Often expressed as personal struggles, the real problem is that business leaders have not implemented a remote business design model. This model helps analyse the company’s stage of remote readiness and helps progress the business through or across the five stages from physical manifestation to a genuinely remote organisation, outperforming any traditional businesses. Would you know

  • at which stage is your business now and
  • at which stage would you like to be?

For an overview, let us briefly fast forward to the model’s ideal remote-first stage, that is, stage 5.

Actualising & Maintaining Momentum

Stage 5 – Actualise & Maintain Momentum: Your business processes are fully digitalised at the remote-first stage. Your team’s cyber capacity is fluent. They collaborate remotely with ease — asynchronous work and alignment champion productivity. Everyone in your company has time for well-being and is entitled to engage in activities conducive to mental health. Remember, when your people bring their highest levels of creativity and presence to deliver the best work, they delight your clients. Maintaining this momentum requires continuous renewal and review of the flow of your business processes.

Leveraging Fully Digitalised Business Processes

Your processes across the value chain are fully developed. The project management and software development are agile, helping teams deliver value to their customers faster and with fewer headaches. Requirements, plans, and results are continuously evaluated, so teams have a natural mechanism for responding to change quickly.

Leading A Digitalised Workforce

Leaders have fully developed the capabilities to lead a digitalised workforce. They are comfortable with assigning digital trust. 

Prioritising Cybersecurity And Privacy

Your cyber capacity is the most crucial element for the remote-first stage. Continuous cybersecurity and privacy training tailored to remote working needs are essential. Only with a strong foundation, which consists of the teams’ cyber awareness, displayed cyber hygiene, and tightly secured processes, can you ensure business continuity.


Does the outlook to stage 5 maturity sound mouth-watering? Let us look at where most businesses still are with their transformation.

Back To Reality

Following the initial shift to remote in early 2020, rushed to adopt online collaboration tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Still, everyone had to be virtually present during all traditional “work hours”, and employees’ working days were often full of interruptions. Companies accepted that work would happen at home for the foreseeable future yet denied that this meant profound structural changes.

Fast-forward to the current situation when many business leaders still struggle to leverage the benefits of remote-first. What are the challenges leaders report?

Workforce engagement and collaboration

Great ideas can come from anywhere in the organisation. Leaders seek to increase engagement among remote teams and boost collaboration for the benefit of people’s mental health and the capability of the business to innovate.

Innovation prospers from people’s collaboration in a trusted environment where they feel heard and valued and can show up as their whole selves. People feel and perform best in an inclusive remote culture where they shape, own and belong, which is crucial for innovation.

Leading Remote Workers

People enjoy remote work. They train and develop themselves to become remote workers to live the ‘work from anywhere’ lifestyle. Team members are spread across time zones, bring cultural diversity, and are often up to speed with the latest remote tools, and understand this multiplicity as an advantage. At the same time, leaders face challenges leading remote teams, a capability for which they received no training or development.

The implementation of successful asynchronous working is top on the list of leaders. While it’s known that asynchronous is the magic sauce of remote work, businesses still lack the mechanism to make it flow. Agile practices help solve the challenge. Leaders also find it helpful to implement measures to build trust through establishing meaningful relationships across cultural boundaries to lead the digitalised workforce. Trust is the glue that allows allocating resources for well-being and mental health.

Prioritising Cybersecurity And Privacy

One ongoing remote work challenge is cybersecurity and privacy – often, such concerns are forgotten or put off until something goes wrong. As teams enjoy remote work, so do threat actors. The rapid and ongoing escalation in the range of cyber threats in remote work has become overwhelming:

  • 66% of SMEs had a cyber incident in the last two years,
  • 50% go out of business within six months after a ransomware attack.

Business leaders often lack the financial resources and skill set to combat the emerging cyber threat. At the same time, the human factor bears the most significant risk.
Eighty-two percent of employers report a cybersecurity skills gap, and 66 percent of security breaches result from employee negligence or malicious acts. The more critical company information is sent and received, the more attractive it becomes to breach it. Working digitally has always had threats, but user education must be constant to maintain protection from new threats and keep up with technologies.
Turning your remote team into your cyber defence allies is critical for a prosperous business future.

Gauging The Remote Business Maturity Assessment

You can outperform any in-person company when progressing towards stage 5 to become a remote-first organisation.

There is no need to look into the crystal ball. The Remote Business Maturity Assessment helps business leaders evaluate the organisation’s readiness to unlock the benefits of remote work. We evaluate the digital maturity of your processes and leadership capabilities and report on their effectiveness for remote-first.
Harvesting the benefits from progressing towards remote-first makes you independent from volatilities in the employment market and improves your market reach. Not to mention the beautiful places you can explore when working from anywhere.

About the author:  Priya E. Abraham

Priya E. Abraham is the founder of Cyberconnecting and author of ‘Your Cyberpower. How to Safeguard Your Remote Business’. She is a digital transformation strategist, privacy advisor, and mentor. Priya brings 20+ years of experience in global business across industries, working with established enterprises and start-ups. In addition to holding a PhD in Business Anthropology and an MBA, she is an accredited Data Protection Officer. Priya has lived and worked in Europe, Russia, the U.S. and MENA. Her experience in all things remote is brought to life in her products and services.

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