Under any circumstances, managing a remote team requires an over-emphasis on communication, a deep understanding of flexibility, and a variety of ways to maintain touc hpoints with your teammates. Now, with so much uncertainty, fear, and sickness, we need to have even more compassion so that people have time to heal, adjust, and find their anchor within this "new normal."
Remote Work Technology
My favorite software to leverage for a work from home team is Zoom, Loom, Slack, Parabol, and Hangouts. Zoom is the go-to software platform for video meetings and webinars. Loom makes it easy to annotate videos and create tutorials or work product update emails. Slack is great for asynchronous communication and resolving issues that everyone can read. Parabol not only makes it easy to manage tasks and do team check-ins, but it also has creative ways to encourage team problem solving and resolutions. Last hangouts, I use hangouts now more than ever to gossip and check-in with friends throughout the day. Since typing on a computer is much faster than texting on a phone, it's a great way to stay connected and chat with people at a more in-depth level throughout the workday.
Almost everyone person on the EnrichHER team has had to alter responsibilities based on the new environment. First, every team member is processing COVID-19 differently. The processing ranges from anxiety and fear to a need for increased meditation to find an internal anchor and joy. As such, the people who are communicating with clients, customers, and advisors cannot be the people who are full of fear and anxiety, so we've had to revamp our entire communications strategies.
The important thing is to not judge, have compassion, and be supportive of everyone who is showing up to reach a collective goal.
Furthermore, some of the team members were unable to continue working, either because they'd rather just be still without mental distraction during this time, they couldn't find the willpower to work, or they're dealing with the care or loss of a loved one. Again, the responsibility has been reallocated and sometimes put on hold based on the resources that we currently have available.
Last, being more flexible in Zoom team meetings is also important. As more families are at home together, many meetings now include babies crying in the background, people walking through the video, and/or it might just be messy in the team member's home. The important thing is to not judge, have compassion, and be supportive of everyone who is showing up to reach a collective goal.
Changing The Concept Of Deadlines
Everyone moves at a different pace during uncertainty. For me, I move faster while being driven by the stories of success told through books like Outliers. For others, they move slower. Many women-led businesses have told me that they didn't have the capacity to apply for grants or loan programs at this time because their inner spirit told them to be still. Both solutions are entirely valid.
Some of us see this time as an opportunity to shift our goals and businesses, and others feel like it's a time to be still and come back to one's self. The important thing is not to judge yourself if you have a certain perspective. The best thing to do is to listen to what you think is best and go with that.
Moving forward during COVID-19 requires a lot of change from all involved stakeholders. If you're lucky enough to have a business that can still service customers during this time, it takes immense flexibility and understanding from both your team and your customers, as everyone is dealing with change.
Some of us see this time as an opportunity to shift our goals and businesses, and others feel like it's a time to be still and come back to one's self.
The best way to survive is to just be compassionate, use tools that facilitate communication and improve the customer experience but acknowledge that everyone in your path is human with real reactions that they have to navigate. Don't treat people like they are robots; in fact, cherish the differences and use those differences to navigate, adapt, and thrive.
This article was originally published April 27, 2020.
WRITTEN BYRoshawnna Novellus