As we are embracing working from home remotely there are new challenges and opportunities to collaborate and support each other. 

The keys to success for the team involve some of the basics that we have kind of slacked off on, you know when you can just walk over to someone and check-in or catch up at the water cooler.  Today, we all are faced with working from home and may be struggling with what was accomplished more casually during those daily face to face interactions. Your reputation and credibility were reinforced by your presence.  Without that daily interaction, it may require that you level up on your skills to communicate effectively and build in more accountability tools so that you, your team, and yes, your leadership can monitor and support your progress.

Here are a few skills that may serve as a list of areas to keep in mind. 

Be Mindful

Brainstorm a communication charter plan. Be mindful when emailing, texting others.  Slow down and read your message before sending it. Now more than ever, being accurate in your message can minimize reactions. 

Be Present

Eliminate background noises in meetings. Video conferencing, Zoom or Google Hangouts engage the audience with the video option. Even though you may be hanging out in your cozy clothes, turn on the video so that you can be visibly present. Respect the presenter as you would in a traditional meeting room. Don’t hijack the conversation. Leaders, facilitate conversations to flow; attendees don’t interrupt. 

Be Accountable

Add priorities to daily activities to keep motivated.  Account to the team your top three priorities for the day. Before you check out for the end of the day, closeout with the team what you were able to get accomplished. This serves as a great way to hold each other accountable.

Be Results-Focused

Results always reveal your focus.  You get what you focus on. Weekly huddles allow the team to be clear on the results needed and allow discussions to set deadlines.  If the team feels micromanaged, stretch out accountability from weekly to monthly. Customize what works best for the productivity of the team.

Be Streamlined

Utilize one project management system to streamline communication and organize processes. 

Be a Leader 

Foster shared leadership. Engage others to create the agenda and lead the team for the meeting. Share the highlight. Sure we all have superstars on our teams. I challenge you to dig deeper and find out something that each and every person is doing to add value. 

Be Authentic

Now more than ever, we do not know what is going on behind the scenes with people’s lives.  Let’s not lose the human side of the business. Create team bonding exercises, like vIrtual water coolers.  In project management, we celebrate successes! No matter how big or small they are, a win is a win. Ask you team about personal success, or share something the team didn’t know about themselves. 

Working remote is clearly the new normal. What’s going on here?  We are all growing through technology, as well as, becoming emotionally stronger as our lives are changing. Change definitely causes chaos.  We can contribute to that chaos though. Know that you can make simple changes that can help you be more productive, be of more value and be easier to be with at work and at home. 

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