GIODN Official Blog
How Managers Working from Home Solve Problems
- May 5, 2022
- Posted by: Dr. Cindy Banyai
- Category: Thoughts
By Dr. Bob Preziosi
A new report released earlier this week found that 40-70% of managers will be working from home. This isn’t new for some managers but for all managers the added variable of the pandemic has helped create problems for all WFH managers. How have managers solved the problems that they have run into?
This blog and my next one will discuss how managers have regained momentum to get people and work back on track.
Carl Flores, the Service Manager for Trane Technologies in Manhattan, says that filling an open position has become a real issue since in-person interviews are not allowed. His solution was to use Microsoft Teams with all cameras operational so the candidate could see faces and his team could read body language. The interview was preceded by an internal meeting to build a structure so the interviewers don’t speak over each other during the interview. This worked out very well for him.
Sometimes managing from home leads to non-stop working. When you aren’t closing an office or walking away from work, it can lead to non-stop working. This was the problem for Leslie Harrington, National Accounts Director for Apotex. She addressed this by setting boundaries for when to shut down. While this is certainly a matter of building a new habit, it would be helpful to have an alarm go off on your cell phone or write a note to yourself and put it on your computer screen. Be sure to reward yourself for changing your behavior. You don’t want to relapse into your old habit of working through happy hour and/dinner!
Rita Smith, a former senior Executive at Ingersoll Rand, has had the same experience as Harrington. Rita believes that developing a feeling about work as a place to come to and leave from can be a powerful way to overcome the elongated work day. She also suggests that folks need to be trained how to use Zoom appropriately for many tasks especially building connections and collegiality.
For some people the lockdown and social distancing didn’t feel like a problem at all. A few months into the pandemic many realized that we had overcompensated our virtual togetherness. Karishma Veljee, President of DigitalHire, said that she and her associates all felt burned out and productivity had fallen. She pulled her team together, and they realized that they had to get back to more execution and less Zoom. Karishma said that they cut out unnecessary meetings and regained their momentum. Other people have pointed out to me that an audit of their meeting activity resulted in rolling back the number of meetings. This can be difficult to manage as Karishma suggests because you have to maintain appropriate “touch” for your people.
Speaking of meetings, Sabia Cherebin, a Customer Service Manager at British Airways, had a problem with a couple of folks showing up in person for a virtual meeting that had been on the calendar for three weeks.
Their attendance was critical and the meeting could not be postponed. She moved the meeting to a place where social distancing was adequate, while the other attendees attended virtually. After the meeting she let the two individuals know the rationale behind the virtual meetings. She let all stakeholders know that all meetings would be virtual until further notice reminding folks that there were dial-in and connectivity options. Sabia planned her next meeting for a day when she was working from home to ensure that the meeting would be virtual.
Gianni Quintana, Founder and CEO of digitechi, balances work on two continents. While much of their work as a mar-tech demand consultancy is virtual, their main challenge has been setting up consistent touch points internally and with clients to humanize the post-pandemic work/collaboration experience. Also, lack of balance in meeting times with clients can cause delays in projects and communications. Lack of in-person events has led to greater use of Zoom, LinkedIn Live, and podcasts, such as SmartChickens. These tools have helped offset the lack of connecting with prospects, peers and clients.
Originally posted here.