My team are spread across multiple regions Queensland, Victoria and NSW. Since working from home, I have set up 30 minute coffee catch ups over Microsoft Team daily. We have been joined by the pets and children and the chat has been varied, but nothing to do with work.
The team are closer, have more fun and know each other far better than any team I have ever led. In the past I would get the team together weekly and discuss business and quarterly to review the plans and progress, with a dinner to socialise once a quarter. Fortnightly I would have 1;1’s where I would get to know the individual and what motivates them and how to challenge them to achieve new things.
These daily coffee catch up sessions takes “norming” to a whole new level.
30 minutes daily allows the team to connect on a whole new level and more importantly I have learnt so much more about the team, personal situations and what makes them tick. I look forward to the call as the banter and connection is like nothing I have experience before.
When you have remote team members, they miss out on the office conversations and the relationship building with other team members is more challenging. These 30 minute daily sessions has created stronger rapport and the team work is now at a whole new level.
There is a silver lining in every situation and for me I have learnt more about the people I work with than I would of done in the way I operated previously. If there is a silver lining with COVID 19 its about how to lead in more connected way.
This way of working will continue beyond COVID19.