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Lisboa Go Remote – engage to change

The importance of testing a pilot project involving the adoption of remote working arose in the Municipality of Lisbon (CML), before the beginning of the pandemic, on the basis of a proposal by the Municipal Directorate of Economics and Innovation (DMEI).

Determine maturity for digital & remote work at CML/DMEI

The Research-action pilot project in the area of digital maturity and remote work – Lisbon Go Remote, which commenced in May 2020, was the result of a year-long collaboration between CML's Future of Work Lisbon Initiative and future.Works.

How are we doing? How do we want to be? What do we need to change?

These were the watchwords that facilitated the building of a co-creative process within CML/DMEI that made it possible to plan the future by thinking about the present.

What are our objectives?

1. Test the applicability of the model in CML-DMEI, by implementing a pilot project.

2. Replicate the validated model.

3. Develop relevant strategic guidelines.

What methodology is used?

The first stage involved a diagnostic survey targeted at all employees, and interviews of team leaders, and other relevant stakeholders.

The second phase involved the co-creation event and was particularly important, because of the involvement of staff in leadership positions, and other key staff, in the consideration and analysis of the existing situation, which was already one of pandemic; and of the challenges involved in new models and forms of work, the needs of users, and trends in the changing workplace.

What insights?

The project showed that the involvement of CML/DMEI talent, and openness to the exterior, contribute significantly to the organisational transformation process, and that it is necessary, in order to implement that transformation, to create conditions that facilitate increased flexibility in decision-making and team performance, openness to change, and a transformation plan that seeks to adapt itself to the internal and external contexts.

The project resulted in the identification of four aspects that the organisation should address, in order to facilitate remote work:

Infrastructure and tools

  • Enhanced facilities; ergonomics; training; collaborative tools and support

Co-workers and organisation

  • Promotion of digital literacy; leadership; communication and increased flexibility

Rules and Regulations

  • Optimisation of digital tags; adoption of good practices; definition of responsibilities; standardisation of communications media

Organisational culture

  • Creation of a digital transformation and remote work team; introduction of co-creative methodologies; strengthening of trust and psychological security; organisational cohesion; and performance benchmarking

What was the outcome of this project? How was it disseminated?

The work done resulted in:

- The Strategic Recommendations Guide for Digital & Remote Work

- The public presentation of the Strategic Recommendations Guide for Digital & Remote Work

- A framework for the implementation and management of strategic recommendations

- An infographic that shows the key intervention areas and the measures to be adopted to respond to the needs identified, and the challenges of this new situation.

The infographic can be accessed at:

What we already know:

CML/DMEI was at an initial stage of digital and remote maturity, with a substantial margin for progress along the pathway to its transformation and the simultaneous transformation of Lisbon.

The evolution of the organisation must be viewed holistically, and include other intersecting measures that go beyond remote work, in a more limited sense, such as workspaces, organisational culture, rules and regulations, infrastructure, etc.

The intervention areas and strategies arising from the study reflect the specific needs of the team targeted in the pilot project.

However, the methodology seems to be valid and capable of being replicated in any organisation that seeks to involve its human capital in organisational adaptation and transformation processes, and to open itself to the exterior, as part of a process that involves learning and the co-construction of possible outcomes.

Teresa Gaspar, Fátima Mendes

Lisbon Municipal Council - Municipal Directorate of Economics and Innovation

December 2022

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