ABC reporter Will Reeve appeared on Good Morning America without pants – not realizing that the audience had a full view. Head of non-profit department Lizet Ocampo sharing that his boss « turned into a potato when our Microsoft teams met and doesn’t know how to turn off the setting. » British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted the Zoom code at its cabinet meeting to the general public.
It is safe to say that we are all adjusting to the remote working setup of all staff that COVID-19 has imposed on us. Remote and freelance workers who were previously able to concentrate in a quiet home or collaborative workspace are dealing with a house full of young e-learners. Team members who have thrived on in-person feedback and spontaneous brainstorming find the isolation of remote work crippling. And obviously we’re all a little embarrassed about having to conduct our meetings online.
With no concrete end to COVID-19 in sight, leaders must be proactive in making remote teams as effective, or more effective, than they were internally. A big part of this is making sure that your team’s productivity and the corporate culture remain intact.
Keep productivity alive
Remote working is not a new concept. Forbes actions that “70% of full-time employees work remotely at least one day a week, according to a Research Study 2018 of the supplier of serviced offices based in Switzerland IWG ”. However, evacuating the entire office in a remote work situation is a brutal transition. Teams accustomed to tight workdays may find the move particularly frustrating.
1. Maintain structure with clear expectations
The Marketo blog Remote Work 101 / Survival Kit Remote Employees Must Succeed said, « While you don’t want to appear bossy and drastic, setting limits is essential to ensure you get the results you want. Your team should have defined deliverables, and they should be manageable and what you expect from onsite employees. »Maintain some of the traditional structure of your on-site workday while giving your team the flexibility they need to be successful in their unique work from home.
2. Reinforce the good work
Recognizing which employees stay on track and rewarding those who exceed expectations is more important than ever when you have a remote team. Nods or nods of approval made in a team meeting – all of these things are lost when we work remotely. Taking the time to send an email or highlight an achievement in a video chat will boost productivity in a positive way.
3. Keep creativity alive
Nothing kills a creative brainstorming session faster than a scheduled meeting with an agenda. Creative thinkers need spontaneous interaction in a safe space in order to bounce ideas off before a formal discussion. Using Soft, and similar apps, give your team a way to connect immediately when inspiration strikes.
When larger brainstorming sessions are needed, online whiteboards like Miro Recreate the boardroom session your team might be used to. It is an experience close to the experience of riffing an idea in person.
Keep your business culture alive
Chances are, you’ve invested a lot of time and thought into the culture of your organization. It will take a deliberate and conscious effort to keep the culture of your organization alive as everyone works within their own personal culture.
1. Leave space for a personal connection
While it’s important to keep online meetings and emails focused and task-focused, make time for casual conversation. People are lonely and your team is no exception. Take a minute to ask everyone how they are boosting the energy levels of meetings and emails by reminding employees that they are part of something bigger than the tasks ahead.
2. Keep a sense of humor
Interruptions will occur during online meetings. Hope no one has eyes without pants – but expect pets to bark, spouses to walk by, and kids to step in. Your facial expressions will convey a lot and set the tone for the conversation. By reacting without disapproval and then quickly redirecting your team to the agenda, you’ll foster a healthy distance culture.
3. Make sure your team has the tools and connectivity they need
Laptops, Internet connections, and email services might not seem like part of your business culture, but they are. Do you remember your first day on the job and how exciting it was to organize your workspace? I got used to it pretty quickly. But when it’s gone, you realize how having everything on hand has helped your prospects. Employees who cannot complete their work because they do not have the same resources at home will be frustrated and angry. Especially, if the burden of financing remote supplies is
How has your organization fostered productivity, collaboration, and keeping your culture alive in 2020?