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How is remote work impacting your team?


Something I’ve recently had to face, ever since we transitioned the organisation to work remotely, is ensuring my team’s wellbeing when we aren’t together while also trying to follow our usual routine.

Of course, my team’s wellbeing is always important to me, and with the COVID-19 situation unfolding before our eyes, I believe now is even more important than ever to have the best team with me on this journey – a focussed, dedicated, and empowered team. Even as things begin to get back to some semblance of a familiar working routine, there is a very real possibility that the pandemic could relapse, derailing the new status quo. Either way, it’s never a bad time to consider the impact of remote work on the wellbeing of my team.

Millennials and wellbeing

Many leaders recognise that wellbeing goes way beyond the occasional pay rise, annual paid holidays and medical benefits. But now, with an increased number of Millennials joining the workforce, there seems to be a shift towards more fundamental demands. Millennials are no longer motivated solely by money or a secure job in a multi-national company and would rather be part of something purposeful and contribute to the world. And if you think it doesn’t affect your organisation, think again. By 2025 Millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce.

How can you as a leader ensure your remote team is set up for success?

It doesn’t have to be overcomplicated or even very expensive to meet the needs of your team.

1. A success toolkit. Ensure they are empowered with the tools to know what they are meant to be doing and to easily stay connected with their colleagues . Employees might be resourceful and proactive but need some guidance if working remotely is new to them.

2. View from the top. Retain your team’s motivation by ensuring they see the impact they have on the business (people need to feel they have a purpose now more than ever). Give them the big picture view of the organisation. Connect their input to the overall success of the organisation. Show them where their impact is seen and felt.

3. Value their contribution. Keep them engaged by ensuring proper allocation of work based on their individual strengths, and also give them tasks that will challenge them. This might mean working on things outside of their usual responsibilities but in some situations (and when handled properly) this can help employees feel even more valued and motivated to succeed. This certainly does not mean dumping more work on those who work the hardest! Also be sure to celebrate all the big successes as a team!

4. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Keep communication channels open amongst your team about their work with each other (to avoid duplication of efforts). Keep them in the loop on projects that they were involved in; either show them how their input led to success or discuss constructive ways things might be improved on next time.

5. See their face at least once a day. Working remotely at times might create distance between the leaders and their team. Make it a point to have at least one team video call per day (maybe a daily scrum) to have a personal touch and the feeling of being together

6. Self-organised teams win the battle. Create a structure for daily task reporting that makes the team accountable for their delivery, while making them proud to share their simple achievements and their hard work. Define a transparent time-sheet framework that enables the team to self-govern their contribution.

As a leader at Boombirds, I often dig deep into my own strengths and experiences to understand and meet the ever-increasing demands of my customers and workforce. Just know, you are not alone in your struggle!

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