It’s undeniable that we’re entering a new era of remote work. While many leaders seek to run business as usual, why settle for the usual when remote teams allow us to work even better? The research shows that employees are more productive and engaged when they have the freedom to work from anywhere.
Which means leaders need the skills to lead from anywhere.
In this meticulously researched, refreshingly practical talk, top business thought leader David Burkus provides managers with a complete guide to leading remotely, packed with everyday examples and illuminating insights. Burkus tackles the key inflection points and challenges that remote managers face from taking the team remote and adding new members, to communicating effectively and quickly, managing performance, keeping the team engaged, and even helping them strike the right balance between work and life. This talk provides everything you’ll need to survive and thrive as the leader of a remote team—which is something all leaders will need to consider themselves from now on.
“You don’t send hundreds of millions of knowledge workers home for a year and then snap your fingers and say everyone come back, it's safe now.” – David Burkus
We are just past the one year anniversary of the ‘great working from home experiment’.
People from all over the world are at different stages of lockdown and/or remote work. There is also a realization that what we thought was temporary is probably not temporary. As David Burkus points out the remote work experiment is working,
Culture is probably the number one complaint or concern from senior leaders and this concern stems from organizations of all sizes and industries. Leaders all worry about things that they assume happen in the office. They all worry about culture. Will their teams thrive remotely and engage people?
This is something we need to focus on in 2021 and beyond as we realize that the flexibility people have had for a year now is here to stay. A couple of pre-Covid era studies, one on fully virtual teams and the other on co-located or virtual teams, uncovered three elements of a thriving remote team, especially their culture: Shared Understanding, Shared Identity and Psychological Safety.
This is the extent to which members of the team have a commonly held perspective on the team's expertise, assigned tasks, context and preferences. The first level of shared understanding would be knowing each team member’s true knowledge, skills and abilities. Shared understanding also goes deeper than this, it is understanding people’s calendars, work preferences and probably most important, the context people are working in.
David Burkus has several ideas on ways coaches can help individuals or clients help their own team better implement shared understanding:
If shared understanding was the 2020 problem, Burkus sees shared identity as a 2021 crisis. He fears that in 2021 there will be a tendency towards “us versus them” in the workplace, that most organizations have never experienced. Burkus sees this arising from people coming back to the office at varying rates. Some employees want more flexibility and others prefer to return to their normal, pre-pandemic schedule. We need to think of people working on a team as one team.
As leaders coaching teams and as people coaching those leaders,building a sense of connection to each other matters tremendously.
The extent to which team members express themselves and take risks.Psychological safety is marked by two elements in the culture: mutual respect and trust.
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