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Issue #45: Our New Normal: Working Remotely, Being Connected

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Constructive collaboration and working as a global community has been very impressive over the last
 

Transforming Talent Insights

March 18 · Issue #44 · View online
Feeding the Passion for Transformation: Be it Talent, Culture, Work or HR


Constructive collaboration and working as a global community has been very impressive over the last four weeks with the increasing awareness of our global connectedness in the face of the CORVID-19. Individuals, companies, health-care workers and helpers (with a very honest shoutout of appreciation), friends, families, neighbors, random strangers have been coming together as a global community to help guide us through these strange waters.
Pretty much overnight, the monumental shift of a large proportion of a company’s workforce is working remotely and being dispersed. Something long-hailed as something that is coming, became our new reality as folks were encouraged / forced to stay home. From my friends I heard examples of how companies quickly responded in non-bureaucratic ways to enable people to do so. For example, sending dedicated IT teams in delivery vans to set-up colleagues with the means to work from home, donating video conferencing access to schools to help offset the transition, coordinating county-wide to ensure that all kids have access to at least two meals a day, having conference-call ready phones rush-delivered, and the option to have ergonomic gymnastic balls instead of your kitchen chair inflated for you (not for your kids who think “ohh, a bouncy playtoy” - you may have to remind them). This quick about-face is interesting within itself as the infrastructure to work from home was, prior to four weeks ago, reserved for the select few. Now for those who have the option, remote working will be - at least for the time-being - our new normal.
For those of you newly-joining the WFH (work from home) club, I will let you in on a little secret: working remotely from home is a weird conundrum. To be sure, there are benefits: One doesn’t have to commute, the dress code is very casual, tea is readily available, and you determine how you want to tackle your day. But there are downsides: tea is too readily available (break-time!), the sense of other people working is missing, one can feel very disconnected and, particularly in the current situation, isolated.
Which is why the topic of how can we maintain the sense of belonging, being part of a team, in the midst of the anxiety of the situation and its unforeseeable fallout, is even more important than ever. Be it as a colleague, leader, friend, parent, or human resource professional, it is an opportunity to take the insights and lessons learned about remote work and apply them more broadly.
Like the Trello writers of the ultimate guide of tried and tested strategies, from the world’s leading companies for remote work How To Embrace Remote Work advise:
“Effective remote work starts at the top. When company culture leaders correct non-remote friendly behaviors and put inclusive processes in place, the effects trickle down into a successful experience for everyone.”
“The key to building great remote relationships is intention. You need to try harder to find common interests, have meaningful meetings, and truly understand each person’s perspective. The result can be a lasting network of true friends that you can depend on, no matter where your travels might take you.”
With have two key recommendations:“ 1. A clear set of “rules to live by” that have 100% buy-in across the company (Theirs are: Empathy is everything, treat others with transparency, asynchronous is A-OK, expect structure, and different but equal), and 2. a healthy system of meetings, events, and habits that keep people communicating.”
Further tips to continue to foster a culture of belonging and connection:
Remote work in dispersed teams, and fostering a real culture of community during these trying times reminds me of the quote from Thomas Friedman “We have to be the best global citizens we can be.” That is true beyond today.

"Rules to Live" by for remote work: valid beyond today
"Rules to Live" by for remote work: valid beyond today
Leading Remote Work
The Best Advice For Remote Work Success From 10 Global Teams
4 Ways You Can Give Your Remote Workforce a Sense of Togetherness | LinkedIn Talent Blog
‎Remote Work: How To Transition To A Fully Distributed Company From A Collocated Company
Parents & Those Suddenly Working Remotely
‎LadyBrains: 150. Social Distancing & Remote Working… With Kids on Apple Podcasts
Working From Home? 12 Guides To Help Navigate The Remote Life
The Remote Working Parent’s Survival Guide - Ambition & Balance
CORVID-19 Resources Up the Wazoo
Recruiting Brainfood Issue #179 | Revue
Tips for Managing a Remote Workforce During Coronavirus — and Beyond | LinkedIn Talent Blog
Thread by @Lars: A message to the HR community:
What advice do you have to stay humanly connected?
This edition is thanks to a video chat I had with Sofia Broberger as I was working to find my voice: Why don’t you talk about culture and the sense of one team as we are all now suddenly in isolation? Tack väinna!
At this point, I want to thank you for your support of our community of global citizens and Transforming Talent Insighters.
Be well, stay healthy, stay connected, and reach out for a quick chat whenever you want!
All of my best regards,
Liz
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Elizabeth Lembke, Transforming Talent Consulting: www.transformingtalent.co and www.transformingtalent.de