Teams are increasingly globally distributed and rarely see each other in person, particularly under the Covid lockdown. I came up with these questions to ask yourself based on nearly ten years of working from home, working in globally distributed teams and delivering projects in this environment. I hope they are useful!
Questions to Consider:
- What are the priorities for company culture in these circumstances? How does it differ from the culture where most employees work in the same office?
- How can we create a distributed culture across nations and different functions that works?
- What values do people have in this work environment? Does it vary by region and role?
- What level of productivity are we striving for? How is this assessed? What measures encourage the best outcomes?
- What level of flexibility is important for individuals /departments /results?
- Why is this flexibility important to the company overall? What communication channels are required in these circumstances to maximise productivity?
- How much confusion is there around objectives or misinformation due to the disparate locations? How much time is spent resolving these?
Suggested framework for discussion to extract these perspectives:
- Company culture definition and aspiration
- Value aspirations and level currently embedded
- Actual values and personality of each department
- Leadership styles and preferences – what style would not work?
- Nature of team dynamic and desired changes
- Impact on budgeting and focus for priorities
- Current communication workflows
- Suggest using Six Sigma Fishbone diagram to highlight priority issues
Work from home part of the week changes dynamics of conversation and team work.
Questions to Consider:
- How does this situation change communication styles and outcomes?
- Do you know how this worked before with employees in the office every day?
- Can we look at workflows in information, processes and delivery, new ideas, developing relationships in a WFH culture?
- What are the variables in work patterns that will ensue for individuals and teams? Working earlier or later? Breaks? Friendships and relationships?
- What tools would be most effective? Does it vary by team or function?
- Does working from home affect productivity? If so, how? How can this be quantified or is it valued more as a benefit than the impact on productivity?
- Look at a mapping communication channels as an approach to identify any issues or blockers in communication.
- Discuss working habits with different teams and establish preferences and issues in communication.
Good luck! Please find below a few of my recent blogs which may also be of interest:
Creating a culture of compassion: https://wellthoughtthrough.com/2020/09/03/creating-a-culture-of-compassion/
Emotional architecture: https://wellthoughtthrough.com/2018/11/23/emotional-architecture/
Management through kindness: https://wellthoughtthrough.com/2018/05/31/management-through-kindness/
Diversity strategy, now include please: https://wellthoughtthrough.com/2018/06/21/diversity-strategy-now-include-please/
Love Ruth x