The sudden and rapid movement to remote working has been jarring and disruptive to many teams. At first, many of our clients talked wistfully about a couple of weeks at home and the chance to skip their commutes. But as the honeymoon period wore off, excitement dwindled and struggles to adjust and thrive in the new normal started to emerge.
Our clients identified their key challenges as:
Adjusting and thriving in newly remote teams requires an acknowledgement of this drastic change and explicit conversations about how to make working apart work for your team.
Suddenly, your old team norms may not apply. Come together to commit to new norms that reflect your team’s current realities and take into account each team members’ various circumstances. As a leader, start by understanding what matters most to each team member to make sure these new norms work for everyone.
Targets and timelines only go so far. How can you enable your team members to be accountable and ask for help when necessary? The main answer is engagement. Managers who stay connected in a positive way create morale that spreads. These engaged employees set goals, improve their habits, and ultimately hold one another accountable. Alleviating stress on managers during a challenging transition is crucial to team success.
A key to establishing trust and a strong team is to ensure employees know what one another are working on. This not only creates a strong connection towards a common goal, but also builds trust among employees who might feel they are contributing more. Additionally, business goals can align with employees’ professional development goals.
Success day-to-day and success in this newfound remote work structure means something different to each employee. Measuring engagement through frequent pulse checks are crucial to connectivity and work productivity. This process aligns team members and allows for different perspectives. If each team member knows what is important to one another, they will be more willing to engage and help each other to accomplish their goals.
Change is hard. But, that doesn’t mean it can’t ultimately be positive. Teams that shift to remote work will face uncertainty at the beginning, but will adapt quickly if they have open conversations, take time to understand one another, and make shared commitments to how to work together even while apart.
Expect some bumps along the way, that is normal. But, remember it’s a part of the process and we’re here to help.
In times of crisis, leaders are often faced with questions they don’t know how to answer. This problem is especially acute in the case of the covid-19 pandemic, a crisis that leaders couldn’t have anticipated, yet are now expected to have all the answers and chart a steady course.
In a bid to stem the spread of Covid-19, approximately 200 million people in China made the sudden switch to working from home by mid-January. Many companies cited rapid declines in productivity, while employees struggled with changing employer expectations and juggling work with homeschooling kids.