Though remote enablement team members around the world have managed incredible displays of optimism and perseverance in light of a global pandemic, the shift away from familiar work environments has posed new issues of its own. Necessary adaptations have clearly taken a toll on employees within every industry, but their respective managers have had to assume the responsibility of making the transition online a seamless one with little to no guidance.
With that said, communication, an essential skill for teleworking teams, is easier said than done when employees are scattered across different time zones. Team members may require the input or progress of another in order to complete work of their own but are unable to work synchronously. Without defined paths and methods of communication, employees cannot work in a truly collaborative setting. All of this is may be offered with the proximity of shared work quarters, but physical distance and a lack of established communication platforms can make the isolation of remote enablement work even more limiting.
However, work from home (WFH) models established in response to COVID-19 have increased the accessibility of internal team communication tools like Slack out of pure necessity. Often, traditional modes of communication like email and/or phone calls are unable to simulate that authentically shared workspace. It’s definitely not the same as face-to-face collaboration, but adaptive workers have had no choice but to be receptive to adopting new work habits and patterns.
In-office work also largely contributes to company culture, and therefore, the attitude with which employees approach their duties. Virtual work culture can be rooted in the refinement of company values, transparency of culture goals, and active engagement from every member of the team. For a company leader, this looks like embracing and encouraging socialization, personally getting to know every single employee, and hosting team-building events online.
Even in remote enablement settings, this sense community can be cultivated to improve employee morale, increase productivity, and lead to higher job satisfaction. Elements of an ideal company culture should align with the business’s values and be reflected in its frequent and accessible communication, work patterns, organic bonding opportunities, and so on. As managers attempt to maintain a sense of normalcy in a chaotic world, an uplifting and resonating virtual culture is more vital than ever.
Of course, striving for “normalcy” while isolated at home may seem like quite the lofty aspiration for remote enablement orchestrators, but offering continuous guidance and support can help employees to overcome complexities, prioritize work, and move forward as a team. If anything, with WFH models, more concentrated efforts are required in order to strengthen the fabric of a professional team.
Providing effective coaching to remote team members may require at a basic understanding of technological tools, but traditional management skills are integral to be able to guide employees through these obstacles. In fact he expertise and skills of a manager seem to multiply in these unprecedented circumstances in order to have the same effect.
With varying amounts of physical distance between employees, it’s essential that trust is established and maintained. Especially as individuals potentially encounter the adversity of battling COVID, enduring isolation, and navigating economic instability, managers must be prepared to guide their teams on how to manage work-life balances while working from home. Whether being able to hold individuals accountable for their work or simply checking in with them from time to time, leaders can serve as a source of stability and support in these difficult times.
Though it’s not a novel concept, remote enablement work on any scale is bound to complicate both day-to-day operations and thus long-term progress for smaller teams that are not equipped with the skills, resources, and experiences to be successful. And as an orchestrator, you play an integral role in facilitating an efficient and fulfilling work experience. Through enough trial and error and even more patience, managers have the capacity to help keep their teams afloat through the unimaginable.