For those of us who work remotely as a practice are already set-up to be WFH. We have the tools, tech, discipline, and mindset to get the job done no matter where we are. Our mindset is inherently collaborative. We know when to pick up the phone, over-communicate, get everyone on a virtual meeting, and yes, when an email will do.
But for most, going into the office, turning on their computer, and prepping for the day’s meeting is the norm. They expect that they will run into their co-workers in the halls or pop their head over the cube wall. Not to mention, their boss will see them at their desk and assume that work is getting done.
Telecommuting has grown by 115% in the past decade and probably 10,000% in the past week.
Workers unaccustomed to working from home face significant challenges before they even start work:
– Tools and technology – not everyone has a laptop or a stable internet connection
– Distractions at home – school age children have been sent home for an extended period
– In-person to remote – many tasks quickly accomplished face-to-face need to be digital
The physical and technology shift is just half the battle. We need to be thinking and acting differently to manage the daily and sometimes hourly change that we are faced with.
Tips for adopting a collaborative mindset:
- Think about picking up the phone and making a quick call.
- Schedule daily 15-minute virtual meetings with co-workers you typically “see” everyday.
- Reach out via internal chat systems just like you would when popping by a co-worker’s cube.
- Institute a daily team meeting or stand-up so that everyone can feel connected, establish some normalcy and feel accountable despite being physically removed.
- Have a virtual lunch or coffee date.
- Over-communicate but in the right medium. Think about whether you need to talk it through or an email will do.
Above all else, remember that collaboration comes in many forms and you don’t need to be face to face to do it. Change your mindset and think about ways you can adopt a collaboration mindset regardless of proximity!