Thanks to those who signed up and attended the event, “How to keep team spirit with remote work?”

Here is the 6-minute video, which gives you a cue to what we discussed and shared.  FYI, the video is posted on the Facebook group #SafePlaceToTalkAboutWork which I am launching now.  Join us as a Founding Member!

And, yes, this entire article is also posted on #SafePlaceToTalkAboutWork 

Mindset

 

I began sharing how our mindset keeps us in a limited perspective. We all have blinders of sorts. And the result is that we tend to treat problems in the same way…

“If Your Only Tool Is a Hammer Then Every Problem Looks Like a Nail”

Abraham Maslow

Well, our office hammer does not work with remote!

Defining the Specifics

Remote working is a LARGE ISSUE. One of the attendees shared his leadership style and why remote was challenging for him. (Check out the video ūüėČ)

Does this apply to you too?

  • More comfortable dealing with “rational” issues than with feelings
  • Used to rigor…which he interpreted as control
  • At work, when he talked to team members, they were present.¬† Now when he gets them on the phone he wonders if he is interrupting them…and he’s not sure if he’s interupting professional work or the tasks of living in confinement.¬† He feels disoriented.
Remote Work collective intelligence
My notes in mind map.

Solutions

With his concerns in mind, we looked at four “categories” of solutions

  • Empathy
  • Organization
  • Engagement
  • Performance

It is true that we need to connect. It is also true that a business only exists if it can maintain a flow of revenue. We need BOTH people connection AND confirmation of results.

To stay focused, we looked at one solution for each of these.  There are MANY more that surely you all use.  Please share them either below or on #SafePlaceToTalkAboutWork.

Empathy

Empathy, one of those overused words, is about recognizing that the other person has a different perspective and trying to understand that viewpoint.

To build empathy we settled on this solution

To invite the team to share a 30-second video of their surroundings.

The goal is to better understand the personal challenges that each of the team members is currently experiencing.  It is different to talk about it than to see it.

I connect with one colleague; she sits on the floor in a hallway to find privacy away from her two youngsters!  I still expect quality output, yet seeing her crouched with a smile reminds me to also notice and remark on her contributions. 

Organization

We focused on ways to respect each other through planning on the calendar and how often to share information.

To establish regular meetings scheduled in advance.

When juggling mutliple schedules (parents taking care of kids, doing the grocery shopping which now takes forever, catching some daylight rays…) team members are now less flexible.¬† One would think the opposite; they are at home!¬† But no.

It is easier to cancel a meeting than it is to try and get everyone together at the last minute.  In fact, it was considered respectful to plan ahead.

To batch information sharing.

This idea was my personal favorite because I related to the challenge of being bombarded by multiple notifications on email, Slack, LinkedIn, Facebook… and more.¬† Should I respond then?

And when I tried to find the information, what a mess!¬† On which channel had that tidbit been shared?!?!¬†ūü§Ē

The information batching meant asking these two questions:

  • Can this information wait to be shared at our regularly scheduled weekly meeting?
    if not
  • Can this information wait to be shared at our scheduled daily meeting?
    if not, then and only then, to contact the team member

If you will contact, then do it all the way.  Not an email that you hope they will answer right away.  Go ahead and pick up the phone or connect on video conference.

To be continued tomorrow….

What do you think?

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