As the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly influenced the work lives and operations of most businesses, adaptability and flexibility have become crucial ingredients in the formula for success.
TBTC Melbourne City’s Sales Manager, Darren Smith, shares his experience thus far with fostering continuity and encouraging connections within his team whilst working remotely:
- What have been some challenges faced since managing a team remotely?
- What are the key factors that have assisted the management and functioning of a remote working team?
- What are some helpful suggestions for teams to remain effective and successful whilst operating remotely?
Question 1 – What have been some challenges faced since managing a team remotely?
The greatest challenge we have encountered so far is keeping the connection and engagement amidst team members. The feeling of involvement and maintaining the relationships within teams is often completely removed with a lack of human contact. If we were simply left with only email and telephony, this would be an even colder and more impersonal experience.
Thankfully, the team has been able to continue fostering our connections through utilising collaboration platforms. The platform of collaboration our team uses to maintain involvement and support relationships with one another is Microsoft Teams, and all the collaborative features it offers. The ability to see each other and understand the facial responses and smiles gives a more personal and human experience during our catch ups, whether as a group or during one-on-one meetings.
Question 2 – What are the key factors that have assisted the management and functioning of a remote working team?
Working remotely has certainly provided a tighter calendar and structure to the day. No water cooler chats means that productivity is gained, and there has been a stronger focus for the day’s tasks. Utilising our collaboration tool, Microsoft Teams, has allowed us to easily plan out our days around meetings within our calendars, as well as create group chats specifically for different tasks or projects to ensure an open and direct form of collaboration – no messing around with waiting for replies or struggling to get in contact with each other.
Question 3 – What are some helpful suggestions for teams to remain effective and successful whilst operating remotely?
Try to achieve a balance between not enough catch ups and too many catch ups. This is tricky to accomplish and if we were in a remote working environment within normal times (without the pandemic), we may not require as many catch ups. During the pandemic, while my team are isolated, I feel duty bound to support them with their mental health strategy. Some of our team live alone and may not have any other contact for a couple of days, so it is essential that we come together regularly as a team to support one another on a personal level as well as professionally.
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