Maintaining Teamwork Remotely
With the directive that we are to continue working from home for the foreseeable future how do we maintain a sense of teamwork over time?
Jane Hamlyn, our commercial director shared her thoughts on this.
It’s important to develop concrete strategies to maintain team culture. In the beginning like many, we thought we would simply continue in the same vein albeit remotely. Maintaining a sense of belonging and community is key to our happiness at work and while there are undoubtedly benefits to working from home it’s taken a while to see there are also some downsides that we need to mitigate.
It’s often the value of those ‘water cooler’ (or in Gyrocom’s case pool table) conversations that spawn ideas and give you feedback that you don’t get in a meeting environment, and I would say that the need for transparency with even more frequent and open communication is key. It can be the small things that you miss on video conferencing that you would pick up on in a physical meeting, non-verbal body language for example.
We are perhaps in a better position than some organisations; we’ve always had flexibility around remote working and many of the team were based either at home or on client sites. Effective team-working is complex; it depends on a compelling direction, strong structure, supportive context and a shared mind-set. The skill for managers is ensuring those four elements are fostered in working from home. For us we have teams and sub-teams, they are diverse in size and skill-set, we enjoy social interaction over video as well as formal meetings. Like many we have become proficient in the Zoom Quiz.
It’s a journey for sure and we are managing our way. The feedback we are getting is that our teams are happy, productive and feel included.
That said, personally I couldn’t have been more excited when we had a back to the office day before the further restrictions kicked in. Over time we will no doubt return to a hybrid model where there will be physical (socially distanced) meetings for creative brainstorming and idea generation. while the task-oriented activity is home-based. Hopefully our return to our monthly Work From The Office Day which we have always seen as fun, sociable and an important way of feeling connected.
Jane Hamlyn is the Commercial Director at Gyrocom.