Critical Topic Discussion Group 2 Remote Management – April 1, 2020

On April 1st, 2020 Einblau & Associates hosted a Discussion Session for managers and leaders to talk about the challenges of  managing a remote workforce during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The session consisted of 15 minutes of best practice information by our keynote speaker Dawn O’Connor – Facilitator and Master Productivity Ninja. Subsequently, everyone was divided into breakout groups for 45 minutes to discuss questions and concerns on this topic and get insights from others.

Lisa Arora from Get The Picture created a graphic recording of our session. SEE VIDEO of this session at the end of this article.

Remote Management Graphic Recording

Outcomes from Breakout Groups

Lessons Learned

  1. This is a mental strain. Home and work are now the same place. There is no drive home to separate work and home.
  2. Phone calls are more effective, more intimate now.
  3. Remote systems are fairly robust – when you contact someone you can’t tell if they are at work or at home.
  4. Be choosy about when to communicate. Be purposeful when you communicate.
  5. Don’t get inundated with C-19 news. Put your phone down and focus on work deliverables.
  6. The driver of productivity is clarity in the task.
  7. Set up Zoom coffee break meetings with no purpose other than to socialize. People that do not usually speak up are beginning to. Try setting an objective for the next meeting to start the discussion such as talking about what each person is doing to stay active.
  8. Recommend setting two meetings – one for personal and one for business. Need to get over the focus on the need to be efficient and re-establish relationships and focus on the personal. Let people be people first.
  9. Need to move from business oriented to people oriented: at the start of a meeting begin with listing what each person is grateful for or go around the room and give a compliment. Great way to bring the human aspect in!
  10. Noticing that the email traffic has increased internally but the amount of after-hours communication has decreased. We seem to be resetting the business hours.
  11. External communication has decreased, which may indicate that our clients are struggling to work remotely. We need to focus on letting our clients know that they are still a part of the process and bring them into the fold with us.
  12. We typically have a lack of trust for people working at home. However, being forced to work this way is looking to be more efficient and team oriented. Hopefully the flexible work space becomes more acceptable.
  13. People, Project, then Profit.
  14. Trust them.
  15. Communicate in different ways.
  16. Teams easily transition.
  17. Let them Innovate.

Challenges

  1. Finding available time with each member of the team as very busy, even harder to find random times.
  2. Different competency levels in technology.
  3. Stepping back and keeping the pulse, trusting that all is getting done.

Tools to Monitor Productivity

  1. Time sheets help monitor productivity.
  2. Using a month-end tool to see if invoices are sent and milestones met.

Level of Collaboration

  1. More collaborative at the start, but perhaps changing now (or scared it will).
  2. Find there is less judgement, i.e. dogs and kids running through the background are accepted.

Below is a video of Rachelle Lee,  President of Einblau & Associates kicking-off the session, followed by out keynote speaker, Dawn O’Connor.

The next session in our Discussion Group Series on Critical Topics in a Crisis is:
  1. Supporting Staff Mental Health Wellbeing: Your role as a manager & leader in supporting mental health within your teams during uncertain times.
    Wednesday April 8 9:00 am PDT | 10:00 am MDT | 12:00 PM EDT

Graphic Recording Created by: Lisa Arora, from Get The Picture

Get The Picture captures a group’s key ideas – in text, images and colours – in the moment, during a facilitated group discussion. Their proven visual facilitation methods inspire dynamic and highly productive collaboration and lead to stronger decision-making and positive strategic action.

Get The Picture is now serving the world virtually and visually. That’s because they believe ALL meetings are better when they’re VISUAL. Their expertise includes:

  • Designing effective, interactive virtual meetings.
  • Visually facilitating virtual meetings.
  • Visually recording virtual meetings with a facilitator of your choice.

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