Maintaining communication/engagement in a virtual workplace — TripActions Community


Maintaining communication/engagement in a virtual workplace

Everybody has now moved to a virtual workplace. Some of us may have been used to working remotely (especially for frequent travelers) or work from home (WFH) maybe 1-2 days/week, but the perspective may have changed in this unique quarantine context, moving 100% remote with no face-to-face meetings.

  • Do you feel like this transition to a 100% remote work environment has been smooth?
  • Do you have the right tools in place within your organisation? Does your company have the right infrastructure? (e.g. information accessible via the cloud, instant messaging platforms, video conferencing systems...)
  • How do you manage to maintain the communication and bond with your team, your suppliers, your clients without leaving home?

Feel free to share your tips, name the tools you've been using to keep in touch with your network (your team or travers internally, your suppliers or clients externally).

Comments

  • My company helps businesses transition to a remote workforce and this has been wild wild west. Without a proper transition in place, here are the main things I am seeing:

    Over-communication with instant message, text, email, and yes...virtual conferencing. The biggest complaint I am hearing is that no one is allowed any quiet time because the messaging doesn't stop. The distractions have increased. An office worker expects to be interrupted. Someone who works from home doesn't, therefore any interruption is seen as more disruptive.

    Companies who relied on email before to manage projects are realizing how useful a project management system like Asana, Trello, or Teams would be.

    Not everyone is set up with high speed or a space to work from. My family lives in rural Indiana and the highest speed they can pay for doesn't even allow me to do a Google Hangout with them.

  • Interesting feedback @WorkWellPlayMore. I did hear similar things on home workers feeling overwhelmed and pressurized because of the messaging overdose.

    This reveals that there is some education needed on how to manage a remote team, what tools do you need and to what extent are they *relevant*? Teams/Slack enable you to create 'channels' tacking a particular topic and to involve only people who are relevant for this specific topic, and a user you can customize the notifications, and this also contributes to reducing emails. This would be a good start.

    Then Internet connectivity and broadband indeed can be an issue in more remote areas but you can still manage to have the basics covered most of the time.

    I have heard many HR departments have produced "work from home" guidelines to try to give some structure to the transition.

    Bottom line: I believe this crisis reveals the level of maturity when it comes to digital transformation and "remote work readiness". It also reveals that for a certain number of companies, it was smooth because it's in their DNA or they were already running pilots. It all circles back to company culture. I believe there is a cultural element to that too: some markets are a bit slower in adopting WFH policies (e.g. France, where I'm based, has not been consistent yet for various reasons).

  • Agreed on the company culture and industries. I work with a lot of CPA and Accounting firms and they were slow to adopt the newer technology and WFH when what they do suits it very well.

  • How did you get them to adopt modern tech & embrace WFH @WorkWellPlayMore ?

  • haha! They are in that process now :) They didn't have a choice!

  • Slack and zoom have been the most critical tools for us, overlaid with a human first leadership style and laughter, lots of laughter

  • I like the laughter component @carolinestrachan. One thing I caution people with Slack is that they set up boundaries and don't over-communicate. Instant Message can be the biggest productivity-suck for some people and never allow them to focus. How is your company handling boundaries with Slack?

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