The COVID-19 pandemic means that many workers are now remote. (And, lest we ignore the brutal reality, a great many others are not working at all.) Maintaining a shared focus on organizational/team success becomes more challenging when people are not physically working together. There are some benefits, like flexibility, when people are able to work where they live. The pitfalls, however, outlined by this McKinsey article, include impaired relationships, misalignment on goals and poor motivation/engagement.
Many experts predict that working-from-a-distance will become more routine, even after the current crisis passes. So how do you maximize the benefits and avoid remote work’s pitfalls?
- Create and continuously cultivate a solid foundation. Alignment on the vision (desired future), purpose and goals must be achieved and fostered over time. Consider structural changes, like the creation of smaller, cross-functional teams to make this more manageable.
- Increase interaction with your people. To lead and inspire the team, you need regular, purposeful and authentic virtual interaction. This won’t happen naturally, so it must be done with intention.
- Recognize the reality that your people may have struggles. Check in regularly around “how’s everything?” and show empathy. Listen carefully and act on what you hear, if it’s appropriate and possible.
- Create new norms and routines for work. Flexibility and openness are key. Work together as a team to figure out how best to get things done.
- Communicate more and differently. You need a new plan for how/when to communicate to whom. See the article for great visuals and more ideas for remote success.
Remember Humanergy is still here, ready to be a resource to you and your team as you navigate uncharted waters.
How are you creating success when people are working from home? Comment below or message us.
Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash