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Leading Your Team from the Living Room

April 17, 2020 by Jill Granberry

With so many changes in the world come many opportunities. And with most employers having made the shift to a remote workforce, now is the time for business leaders to reevaluate everything – from project management processes and communication to employee support and technology. With the world’s workforce facing so many significant changes and challenges right now, business leaders must consider how they can best support their team from afar.

Assess Work Styles
At this point, your team has gained enough experience working from home to form their own opinion on remote work and identify the challenges that come with it. This hasn’t been an easy change for everyone. Now that your team has had time to get the full remote work experience, it’s time to assess your team’s ability to succeed at home on the individual level.

The goal is to form a big picture of the challenges your team is facing so you can address their individual needs.

  • Who works best without oversight? Who needs more regular check-ins?
  • What is their living situation and how is it affecting their work?
  • Is your team meeting frequently via Zoom or conference calls to maintain some level of normalcy and interpersonal connection?

Remember that this is a stressful time for your team on both the personal and professional level, so don’t forget to provide support for their personal needs, too.

Create Digital Processes
Gone are the days (at least for now) of swapping Excel spreadsheets or brainstorming on a white board in the conference room. Now, all thoughts need to be accounted for in a creative digital space that is accessible by all members of your team. Moving your team to a digital platform that lists deadlines, ownership of tasks, shared files and more will provide one place for your team to communicate on specific projects. Basecamp, Asana and Monday.com are just a few options that teams can use at a reasonable monthly rate.

Stay Educated
This is a new world in the workplace. It’s okay if you’re unfamiliar with some of the systems that  you will ultimately want to implement. Whether it’s hosting a meeting through Zoom or moving all of your team projects to Asana, there is a learning curve for everyone. However, practice (and YouTube tutorial videos) makes perfect, and the more familiar you become with each system, the stronger you’ll be to lead your team successfully through this time of uncertainty.

Your flexibility and adaptability right now will set you apart from other executives who are resistant to change. Considering the instability of the current job market, now is the time to learn new tactics and leadership skills to lead effectively through times of significant change.

The only thing that never changes is that everything changes. But it’s also important to remember that this time of uncertainty will pass. We are resilient. And if we can look beyond the situation at hand, we might see that there are many opportunities to improve upon our business models and grow as professionals.

As a leader, you can best serve your team through positivity, transparency, open communication, and individual support for your team members as they balance personal and professional challenges. The skills you learn now will serve you well, regardless of your career path.

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