This week, a colleague of ours mentioned how challenging it now is to look after folks in their team. Previously they could walk the floor, check in with people and generally engage when their guard is lowered. How could this be done when working remotely?


Many leaders have worked with remote and dispersed teams for years now, so for them this stuff might be second nature. If not, here’s our ONE THING for this week (forget those 10 top tips and 27 hints, just do one thing is our advice). Pick one thing:


·       Start online meetings by asking colleagues about their weekend plans or their families. Someone we know does this. “It’s about depth,” he says. When you’re hardly ever in the same room, it’s the only way to really get to know each other – and to build trust.

·       Encourage everyone to turn on their cameras and be visible – it’s friendlier.

·       Regularly meet online at the end of your working day together – not after it, this is part of work. And bring a glass of wine or beer or just a cup of tea. Hang out together, discuss non-work things and chat. Again we know teams doing this as part of their unwinding at the end of the week.

·       If your team is using a tech app such as Slack or Lync or Yammer, you might consider saying good morning when you log in each morning, goodnight when you sign off.

·       We heard the following story: when faced with a screechy 3 year-old “I grabbed her and sat her in my lap and said, ‘Hey, guys, [name] wants to say hi,’”. Her Dad said, “It let her see what I was doing, see the other people and participate. Then my daughter realised it was boring and left.” Remember, everyone is struggling to make the new work arrangements work, so if you need to introduce your kids on a videoconference so they can see it’s “boring” then that’s what’s right for you. You may discover other colleagues have similar challenges and welcome the new ways of working around these types of challenges.

·       Bring your pets meetings or bring your kids meetings. We know people doing both – together, sometimes!


So, our ONE THING is to implement SOME THING to check in with your team. The choice is yours.