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CEOs and Leaders: Here's how to prepare for an extended period of remote work

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https://medium.com/@dhassell/ceos-and-leaders-heres-how-to-prepare-for-an-extended-period-of-remote-work-14968f3d668e

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CEOs and Leaders: Here's how to prepare for an extended period of remote work
We're all living through an unprecedented moment in modern history, the potential scale of which hasn't been seen in over one hundred years since the 1918 Flu Pandemic. As I sit here at my desk writing this at 8:30pm on a Wednesday night in the midst of the whirlwind of news and uncertainty, I, probably not unlike you, am doing my very best to answer some very important questions.

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Remote-first Mindset

Accept that you have to put in place remote work systems, even if more than half of your employees ultimately revert to office-based work.

  • If done right, a remote-first infrastructu...

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Build a socially-connected culture

Intentionally design for the same interactions that would otherwise happen if people were in the office.

  • Culture is what naturally happens when a group of people gets together for any ...

69 SAVES


Your leadership presence

Your people need to feel your presence as a leader as they will have fewer opportunities to see you face to face when they work remotely.

  • Regularly show up in a variety of forms tha...

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Specific training and tools

A common fear is that employees may work less when they work remotely. This fear is usually misguided, and the desire to micro-manage should be curbed.

  • Remote teams should be grant...

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Pros and cons of individual remote-work

  • Open offices can be full of distractions.
  • Long commutes have a negative impact on well-being.
  • Remote work increases job satisfaction and performance.

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Video for everything

Video is a critical factor for doing remote work well while maintaining a sense of social connection. It allows you to better "read" people and creates a more cohesive team and experience.
It do...

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“Boosts”

These meetings are designed to boost energy at the company. They may seem to have no business purpose, but they are essential for creating connection while fulfilling the lack of natural connection...

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Meetings

  • For the Leadership Team Meeting, start by having each member of the team rate how they're feeling and share a few words about their current state or weekend.
  • Train managers to spend ...

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Use OKRs

OKRs (Objectives and key results) are important for driving alignment around the few objectives that matter most. Using objectives helps to shift an employee from a task-oriented to a results-orie...

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Implement company-wide chat

If Zoom is your conference room, Slack is your open office. Just like an office, you need to think of leveraging Slack for both work and social interaction, where the team can have conversations...

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Document everything

Being remote-first requires that you have a strong system for both shared files and documentation.
It is critical to have an impeccable organization with a remote, distributed team. It cr...

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Appreciation and recognition

To build a strong, healthy culture, create a channel where people can thank, praise, or give recognition to one another. It increases positive communication in organizations, which in turn increase...

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Manager/Employee Practices

Most of a manager's effectiveness in managing remote teams is when they engage in the right cadence of activities, and the right conversations at the appropriate time:

  1. Do Weekly ch...

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Weekly check-ins

Recurring check-ins ensure regular communication between managers and their direct reports. Each week, every employee reflects on their role and provides a brief update and share the following:

...

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Individual Work Practices

  • On time = one minute early, because there are lots of different links and things that people need to click.
  • Slack time vs. Solo time. If you're always available on Slac...

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Experts share a few tips on how to transition ...

Mimic Your Office Culture

For many of us, the office becomes a fun place due to a sense of community, purpose and fun interactions that make up an office day. To try and mimic your office culture virtually:

  1. Set up Slack channels for water cooler conversation
  2. Schedule virtual movie days, when the same movie is streamed with the chat option on.
  3. Try to recreate virtual versions of what employees miss the most in office, like a coffee break, for instance.

Being Social While Remotely Working

Being social at office lubricates official conversations and the work itself. The more we spend time with colleagues having non-essential chatter, the easier our work becomes with them.

It helps to be creative and infuse fun into a virtual interaction. Any official conversation, like a manager meeting his subordinates in a one-on-one meeting, can start by asking about the person’s life (something unrelated to work), so that a connection is built.

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Hire the right people

Design your hiring process with remote candidates in mind. Look for 3 main things:

  • A strong skill set relevant to their jobs: you need to feel confident that they can ...

Put extra effort into onboarding

Remote workers won’t have the opportunity to be involved in spontaneous conversations or team lunches, but there are other things you can do to help them settle:

  • provide info with new job critical stuff: team member introductions (personal bios, photos, advice for new employees), HR training links, task checklists, long-term goals, and more.
  • assign mentors to new hires, who schedule regular video check-ins, make themselves available on Slack and make new employees feel welcome.

Default working setups

Remote workers need a dedicated, quiet space to do their work, so it’s important to set some guidelines:

  • encourage workers to join coworking spaces;
  • encourage workers to set a dedicated insolated space at home for work, with suitable furniture;
  • fast reliable internet access;

They can still work from a coffee shop every once in a while, but they need a good default setup. 

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How Remote Work Became Possible

How Remote Work Became Possible
  • Computers and the internet have made remote work a common arrangement, and this is a recent phenomenon. PC and internet access changed the shape of work in an unimaginable way, and the techn...

Slow Adoption of Flexible Work

Today, remote and flexible work arrangements are seen as a perk.
In 2018, a survey showed that around 3 percent of Americans worked from home on a regular basis. Due to technological advancements (starting with Blackberry), employees were working from everywhere, the subway, the café, home and during the commute.

But even after we have the technology required for remote working for about fifteen odd years, we have been slow to adopt mainstream remote working. The mass-adoption needed a catalyst, and that was provided in 2020 in the form of a deadly disease.

Remote Work During The Pandemic

  • The 2020 pandemic has shown that all remote working is possible, and bosses are no longer reluctant towards it, a forced change due to the present conditions.
  • Many global giants like Google and Twitter have embraced remote work in a big way, in their bid to protect worker health and to reduce corporate liability.
  • The unpredictable nature of the pandemic and an expectation of the second wave of infections can hamper any chance to return to offices.

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