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Support, Advice and Insights

Working Remotely

Here is a list of the problems that can occur when working remotely:

  • Getting used to the new work-life balance

  • The expectations of how much work you are doing

  • Maintaining the focus and impact of team meetings

  • Different norms established for sharing information

  • Two-way trust issues (were you really working as hard and as effectively as you could? Did you feel confident that colleagues felt you were working as hard as you could?)

  • Too many distractions and not enough traction

‘The secret to managing virtual teams to increase productivity and decrease inefficiency lies in task assignments and relationship building.’

Managing remotely requires a different approach:

  • Agree ways of working and regularly review

  • Maintain purpose and flexibility

  • Set expectations and trust the team

  • Ensure everyone has everything they need, including a suitable working environment

  • Establish and maintain routines

  • Ensure effective communication and listen

  • Foster relationships and well-being

It is important that remote teams combine social and work interactions together to build relationships.

When we are having remote conversations, we need to remember to manage emotions and information in a sensitive way. It is important that we remember and are aware of the sense of distance from people. Virtual communications can sometimes be interpreted in the wrong way, so it is important to be clear and concise.

How then can we ensure that team meetings are more productive. Once thing we really need to bear in mind is that remote meetings should not be conducted in the same way as an in-person meeting would be. Here are some tips to ensure they are as productive as possible:

  • Have clear objectives and protocols

  • Information is circulated to everyone beforehand and has prepared

  • The meeting needs to be facilitated

  • Everyone has a chance to speak

  • Keep everyone engaged

  • Take time to encourage social virtual meetings

Overall, it is so important to reflect on what we have learnt about our behaviours and skill development and that we spend time to have professional conversations and take time to reflect with the team.

Resilience in uncertain times

A lot of people are still in crisis mode and are responding to the situation differently depending on their individual circumstances. The level of uncertainty is testing our levels of resilience.

The key is to harness the power of people, which is hard to do when people aren’t around us.

What are we all contending with:

  • The big stuff – the global impact of Covid-19

  • The UK stuff – rolling lockdown

  • Personal stuff – relationships and finances

  • Then there is the day job…

Our resilience is being tested at different times and our natural response is to resist change. We also must remember that the current level of change is unprecedented. But we need to accept that change is everywhere.

How can we encourage resilience right now?

  • Look after ourselves – look after each other

  • Keep talking – keep in touch and build networks

  • Recognise change – expect it and accept it

  • Support wellbeing on an individual basis – one size won’t fit all

  • Encourage forward thinking – plan for the future and avoid getting stuck in crisis mode

  • Invest in people – keep people engaged and motivated

  • Learn from what is going well – take control of the challenges by learning from them

  • Celebrate successes – reassure people they are doing well and that you can see their work paying off

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