Do OKRs help teams working remotely?

Disadvantages of working remotely

The recent pandemic has forced most companies across industries to accept working remotely. As the Covid situation gets better, organizations are trying to ease back into office life. A Gallup Survey from August 2022 predicted that 94% of employees would prefer the hybrid or exclusively remote approach to work. Only a meagre 6% said they would prefer to be on-site.

While there are advantages with working remotely, there are also significant disadvantages. One of the major disadvantages are the distractions at home. From household chores to crying children, from preparing meals to attending doorbells, employees can be pulled in all directions. A loss in focus invariably causes a loss in productivity.

Another disadvantage of working from home is working in isolation. Working in isolation can be an introvert's dream come true, but for most of us, it gets frustrating after some time. As humans, we are social creatures. Working in isolation reduces the motivation to work.

Working from home can quickly get overwhelming for employees and managers. Managers do not have full visibility on the tasks the employees are working on. Employees do not have a full understanding on what their work is contributing towards. These problems can get tricky handle without a structure in place.

OKRs can help you bring about that structure.

Promotes Clear Communication

Objectives and Key Results emphasize on clear communication. Communication on:

  • What are we trying to achieve?
  • How do we know we have achieved it?
  • What do we do to achieve it?

A company that communicates well, grows well.

Drives Accountability

Communicating openly also helps in building trust and setting expectations. OKRs are encouraged to be set in a hybrid manner. The Think Tanks set the top level objectives and the rest of the company decide how these can be achieved. When OKRs are co-created, the employees know what is expected out of them. They realise how their contributions impact the company. This drives a sense of ownership and accountability.

Brings in Focus

Distractions can easily sneak in while working remotely. However, communicating goals clearly and having employees own them drives distraction out and brings focus in. Focusing on outcome oriented OKRs also mean that remote performance is no longer linked to work hours. Employees can focus on what matters most to the company while having flexible work hours.


Having a strategic planning framework like OKRs offer the perfect counter to some of the problems while working remotely. Communication has always been the key for a company's success. OKRs can help teams stay focused despite working away from office. It helps employees take ownership and find motivation to achieve goals that matters most to the company.

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