Remote Team Leadership is requiring us to develop a whole new skill set isn’t it? How are you coping as we head into winter and continue with the lockdown?  Are you managing to balance your teams’ wellbeing as well as looking after your own?

If you are a business or education leader, it is highly likely that you and your team are pretty exhausted! We are approaching the end of what has been an exceptionally challenging year. The economic impact of the global pandemic is forcing leaders to make difficult decisions just to keep organisations going.

In a pre-COVID working environment, managing the wellbeing of your team could be done in-person. That human connection could easily be established. But, how can you establish that personal connection when employees are working from home?  And how are you maintaining team relationships in a similar way?

This article from Simon Blake, CEO of the MHFA England gives ideas about how to keep well, stay motivated and deliver during this time. This quote stood out for me:

as we become more used to working from home, we must not stop thinking about, talking about, and taking action to support our people, and our own wellbeing, through the winter months.

The first thing that can be lost when working from home is the boundary between work and family time. That laptop and headset lurking in the corner of the office/bedroom/lounge is a constant reminder that there is still work to be done (who ever completes their ‘to do list’?).

What boundaries do you set with your team about when they are available for work?

Many organisations embraced the home-working situation. They realised quickly that this could allow more flexibility in when employees were present. After all, there was no lengthy commute at the start and end of each day, so in some businesses this enabled work to be completed at different times of day.  

However, this can quickly lead to burnout if employees are not mindful about when to switch off from “work mode”.

What systems are in place to introduce accountability and measure productivity for your team?

Productivity monitoring systems and processes will be adapted to remote working as businesses adapt. This is a golden opportunity to review the impacts on the mental health of your team.  But what do you do if you notice someone is struggling in your team? How do you check in with them in a safe space to allow them to be honest about how they really are? Exhaustion, overwhelm and isolation has affected many more people coping with the changes in working practices this year, and  prompted us to develop our programme Self Care for the Exhausted

Are your team monitored when working, or do they have to check in and out each working day?

 I once worked as a regional consultant for a company. They remotely managed my schedule of client visits and made us check in at site. Before leaving to travel to the next client we had to file the site visit report. Then, at the end of each day of driving, consulting, report writing and checking in, I arrived home to find an email telling me how many hours I had ‘worked’ that day (i.e. time onsite with clients). I would then be required to sit at the computer for several hours entering how my time was spent so it could be assigned to each client account. Needless to say, I didn’t stay in this job very long as it was demoralising and exhausting. It left me feeling undervalued and conflicted with the values I was advising my clients to instil in looking after their own people.

Remote team leadership requires us to build a culture of trust. Especially as everyone is isolated from their colleagues.  Everyone in the team needs to feel valued and be mindful of what each member needs to support their wellbeing. This way your organisation can create more engaged employees, who can lead your organisation through challenging times whilst supporting each other to thrive and survive.

As Simon says in his article:

“Now is the time to be thinking about self-care, checking in on each other and thinking about how we can create spikes of joy for ourselves and others.

It is the time to draw on our talents and creativity in service of individual and organisational wellbeing, so we can do our absolute best to deliver on our mission.”

Remote team leadership challenge!

 

How will you choose to create joy in your actions today and inspire your team to do so too?

 

Let us know your #creatingjoy tips in the comments below, and if you havent signed up to our mailing list yet to hear about our next launch of the Self Care for the Exhausted course then you can do so here