Managing business processes in the current pandemic-driven, remote workplace environment requires a slightly different approach from the traditional in-office setting. Prior to the pandemic, as a lean company, our in-office workplace allowed us to begin each week with Monday morning meetings to update each other on current initiatives and deliverables. During the week, we met on an as-needed basis in between the regularly scheduled weekly meetings.
In mid-March we moved our meetings to a virtual format, and the remote workplace limits the impromptu conversations that occur in the office setting that provide important information exchanges among colleagues. Because of this, we have added a short daily check in at the end of each workday that allows all of us to communicate any items of importance that have popped up that day to the entire team, and if needed, plan action steps. This daily interaction avoids waiting until the next Monday and risking a delay in needed actioning or a critical deliverable slipping by without action.
In our current, fully remote workplace model, we have found the following parameters to be useful to our team:
· Attendance/adherence to the weekly meetings is essential as there is no longer an opportunity to fill in any gaps by bumping into a colleague in the office.
· Virtual meetings require all participants to be focused and eliminate individual background distractions that might limit the information transfer and forward action planning.
· Using screen sharing technology to replace in office conference room projections allows remote participants to view the information as it is presented and enable a more robust dialogue, versus an audio-only meeting.
· Enabling the video function during virtual meetings helps to foster team connection given that colleagues no longer see each other in the office each day.
Fortunately, our current technological environment enables all this and more. It does require individual team members to apply additional disciplines on top of the technology. Our team has continued to stay highly motivated and engaged, and looks forward to the day when we can work together in person again soon. (Note: the photo above includes current and former team members on a job site in 2019.)
What tips do you have for working remotely? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.