You and your team have been working remotely for a long time now, and you still don’t know exactly what the future holds. And during this time, people have likely been working harder than ever and in new ways. Have you spent any time training for remote work? If you haven’t, how would you know when and if new skills are needed, or what those skills would be?
Here are 7 signs to consider.
Poor or (Mis)communication
Communication is hard enough when we can see each other, doing it remotely with a wider variety of tools adds friction and complexity. Simply blaming the challenges on remote work being more complex doesn’t solve the problem. Does your team need new ideas, processes, and approaches to bridge these communication challenges? Is everyone using the communication tools well and consistently? If not, targeted training might be the solution.
In our experience deadlines can be missed for lots of reasons, including:
- Unclear expectations
- People being overworked and not sharing that challenge with their leader
- Poor time management
- Poor work processes
- Dropped balls/handoffs between team members
All of these can be exacerbated in a remote working environment. Add the potential additional time and distraction management challenges that might be found working from home and you plenty of chances for deadlines to be missed. Training on processes, setting expectations and boundaries and remote productivity may all help reduce missed deadlines for your team members.
Poor Use of Meeting Tools
For virtual meetings to be successful, people must know how to use the meeting platform effectively. We don’t need training on how to “use” a conference room, but we might for your virtual meeting platform. Do people know how to do the basics (chat, screen sharing and more), as well as the more advanced, but important tools (like polls, whiteboards, recording and more)? If not, training on the practical uses of your platform will likely create big improvements quickly.
Too Many Meetings
One of the advantages of remote work is the chance for uninterrupted time to get work done. If people are in meetings all day, when are they supposed to do the rest of their work? The reasons for too many meetings are many, and with some training and group dialogue, chances are the number of meetings can be reduced, and the effectiveness of each one increased. This might be the fastest and most obvious way that training for remote work can positively impact the effectiveness of your team.
Lack of Interpersonal Connection
When working together in the workplace, there are plenty of chances for incidental and accidental interaction and communication. These moments and opportunities help create, maintain, and build the social connections between team members. Many have lamented the loss of these moments as team members gather around their laptops rather than the water cooler. While we have to work harder to create and maintain relationships and a sense of connection when working apart, it can be done. And training on approaches, tactics and tools can all help overcome this important challenge.
The longer people work alone and separate the more separately they begin to see their work separate and independent from others. Leaders can help overcome this trend through clearer expectations and by supporting and recognizing collaboration in all forms. Training for remote work can help both team members and leaders keep high levels of collaboration in a remote working environment.
Too Much Micromanagement
Leaders are susceptible to all of the challenges on this list because they are working remotely too. But the urge, tendency and even the perceived need to micromanage work being done remotely falls on leadership. Providing training to help leaders see the problems with this approach and the tool to overcome it can be extremely valuable to the entire team.
While training isn’t always the answer (even to some of these issues), it might solve some of your concerns or problems. Use these 7 signs as a checklist to determine what skills might be needed and how they might help. Those insights will help you invest in the right training and learning solutions for the right people at the right time.
Want to talk about organizational solutions for teams or more? Contact us and we will be happy to help you think through your needs and see how we can help.