Many are starting to return to their company facilities these days, finally!  However, many organizations are bringing their teams back gradually over a period of time.  Some have team members that won't be returning to company facilities at all and will continue to be working remotely indefinitely.

 

To help other leaders and to learn from each other, after reading this article, leave a comment as to your 100% remote plan!

 

I recently picked up some great advice from Darrell Keezer, Founder of Candy Box Marketing that I think was very insightful and may prove helpful to many.  Darrell said:

 

"it's not about working from home versus working from the office...

...it's about working from anywhere"

 

Talking with many leaders and clients recently, it does seem to be a common situation where it may be rare to have entire teams physically together at the same time.  Sometimes, this is because some of the team work independently servicing the client base.  Perhaps they always did, even pre-COVID.  Or it could be because some people will rotate in office days between team members.  In other cases, some team members will have new options of working remotely.  The point is, that post COVID, the definition of where the work is done has changed.  As leaders, we need to be prepared to lead our teams and provide the necessary tools and processes to create and maintain effective teams when they could be working from anywhere.

 

In addition, Darrell said that even if only 10% of your team is working remotely, you need to plan as though 100% were working remotely.  When team members work from anywhere, it is very easy to feel forgotten, be overlooked, disconnected, or even disadvantaged.  So we need to develop engaging ways utilizing both technology and human interaction initiatives to keep people engaged and connected.

 

"10% remote/virtual = 100% remote plan"

 

Working with a client recently,  we had a core group in the board room and several others that had called in on TEAMS.  Facilitating within the room, we were mapping out a current state value stream map.  We were hand writing on different coloured sticky notes and laying out the process on the wall.  We even set-up additional cameras directed at the wall so that those on the line could see what we were doing in the room and be engaged.  Guess what... They spent most of the meeting looking at my back as I placed and moved the sticky notes around.  It was impossible for them to see what was written on the stickies any way.  They were very disadvantaged and quickly withdrew from most of the discussions.

 

The next day, we made a change.  Essentially we assumed we were all remote.  We conducted the value stream mapping using a very effective on-line collaboration tool.  For those in the room, we projected the on-line view on the board room big screen and they followed along from there.  Those in the room did not have their laptops open so that we had full engagement within the room.  For those on-line they could see exactly what everyone in the room saw as we "shared" the view virtually.  We had another big screen projecting the TEAMS gallery view so those in the room also saw the faces and body language of those that were remote.  Those that were remote had a gallery view of the room so they could also see everyone in the board room.  This small change leveled the playing field between those physically in the room and those that were remote.  Engagement and active participation went up dramatically!

 

What's your 100% remote plan involve?  Leave a comment below.

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