communication and trust, two highly quoted words

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This new way of working, the leader, will face the need to move from a mindset of “control” to a mindset based on trust

In an ideal world, how far away that phrase sounds today. Even in a context of a certain “normality”, when we think about implementing a distributed way of working that helps us achieve our business objectives, our recommendation is to think about doing it “by design”, in an orderly, systematic and organized way.

In this design, we must take into account from technological tools, advantages and possibilities for our business, to the key competences that the members of that distributed team must have, such as autonomy, self-discipline, organization, good communication skills and teamwork.

In the current context, which is far from being that ideal world, many of the organizations are seeing forced to adopt a new way of working, which they were not used to: “remote work”.

Perhaps starting tomorrow, our collaborators, whom we saw every day and with whom we shared office, each one will be from home in different conditions and perhaps, we are not prepared nor do we have all the tools that we would have needed to organize and design a good work dynamic.

For this, we have thought of some recommendations, which, from our experience, we must and can take into account, to be able to work with a team remotely. Here are some:

  • Define what our means or channels of communication will be and agree on how to use each of them (if I have an urgent issue, do I send an email to my leader or do I chat or send him a WhatsApp? How long does it take? me to answer a chat?)
  • Establish frequent communications, ideally, a meeting at the beginning of the day to tell us what we will be working on and some contacts during the day to manage the progress of the tasks. Use the camera! This will allow us to be closer to whoever is on the other side.
  • Define and ensure that all team members have access to work tools and that the documentation they need to work is available in shared repositories. There are many collaboration tools (One Drive, SharePoint, Dropbox, Google drive, among others) that allow us to easily share information.
  • Encourage and be vigilant as a leader, of the participation and communication of all members. I should know, every day, and at various times, what my collaborators are doing or how they are doing.
  • Keep in mind even information communication: consider that we need to adopt, for this dynamic, a new way of communicating, different from the one we had when we were all together in the office; it has to change so that everyone can access the same information.
  • Establish connection rules: coordinate what time each of us is going out to eat, or advise if someone must leave at any time. Will they know if I am available because I appear “green” in the chat? Define these criteria previously.
  • Create some “social” spaces (it may be when starting meetings) where we can talk about ourselves and how we are doing. That is the main space that we will have lost by not sharing an office (we no longer meet at the coffee machine or share a mate when we arrive).

This new way of working, the leader, will face the need to move from a “control” mindset to a trust-based mindset. You will have to work on goals, setting clear work guidelines and challenging but achievable goals, on a daily basis.

You should have a “emotional” closeness that it will be different, to the one that perhaps they have built in face-to-face work and that, again, must be based on trust. In summary, communication and trust, the bases of this new way of working.

(*) Commercial partner of human resources of Practia.

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