By Liz Sebag-Montefiore, career coach and Director of 10Eighty.
Working from home is often challenging particularly if there are other family members and other distractions at home
- Trust – No one likes to feel that they are being micromanaged or have to account for all of their time.
- Contact – If your team members are used to frequent contact, it is important that they don’t feel isolated
- Managing anxieties in a remote working environment and as a manager to acknowledge their anxiety and fears
- Health and Safety – Just because someone is home working doesn’t negate you or your organisation’s responsibilities.
- Mental Health – Moving from a busy sociable office to working on your own at home needs to be managed sensitively
- Communication – Challenge over Zoom, resulting in flair ups in communication styles
- The challenge the remote piece has given us around managing conflict and how you do this and how you manage some of those difficult people
- There is an opportunity to thrive in a less structured environment
- only a small amount of people want to return to working full-time in an office
- working remotely gives you fewer office distractions, no commuting time and freedom over how you spend your time
- Working from home, and the move to a virtual workplace for some, has seen the importance of distributed leadership significantly increased. This is characterised by a move away from a command and control mode of working in a centralised infrastructure, to a leadership style where decisions are taken on the ground. Traditionally, leaders were at the organisation’s centre, driving organisational objectives; but being an employee centric operator in a distributed leadership model completely reverses this approach, requiring leaders to align organisational objectives to employee needs. Distributed leadership empowers team members to take decisions as best fits the situation and is predicated on the organisation delegating and trusting employees. It’s illustrated by the Sandhurst model i.e. it’s the operative in the field who makes the decisions not the colonel back at base, who outlined the mission and sent them out.
New ways of working
I’ve also spent the year on my own development and last week became an accredited executive coach. I’ve also seen first-hand that a leader needs to look after their own growth and wellbeing in order to support the team. It’s important to prioritise what is needed to maintain my energy levels while dealing with the myriad of challenges our new way of working brings without anxiety or loss of focus.