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Remote work WFH - Mihoko Kobayashi

How To Leverage Team Performance In Remote Work?

To work remotely or not, that is not the real question! One of the most interesting debates in the world right now is whether people should go back to working from their physical offices or working remotely is the new normal.

I am of the belief that a hybrid solution is the best. But most importantly, it is a deeper core value that allows both these options to work individually and in combination but with a higher success rate.

Let’s look at it in detail in this blog. 

We have great technology in place that allows us to work from home or anywhere in the world when needed and that in turn helps us in rebalancing our lives by reducing the commuting and by creating a flexible work environment to achieve our work goals.

But at the same time, we cannot deny the powerful impact of a physical assembly of co-workers. This process is very dynamic; we are social animals.

When we are in the same space working together, we experience the energy in the room and that energy becomes synergy.

Mihoko Kobayashi

That’s why I believe a hybrid situation gives a team the push and the freedom to function efficiently.

I do agree that it majorly depends on the type of project, project status, the team and their co-dependence, and that is why a hybrid solution makes it flexible enough to suit the needs of the team and helps bring the balance that is needed. 

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I’d like to share my experience of working remotely in the past year as the lockdown hit the world. I started working with a new team who were based in Europe and I was working out of Dubai. I have never met them in person before and in six months they were reporting directly to me. Just recently after a year, I met them in person and I cannot explain the joy I felt in my heart to meet the same people I met across a screen in the past year.

But did anything change with respect to the trust in our relationship or work dynamic? No. That is because over the last year we have been building a trust relationship with each other. This is necessary irrespective of a remote working situation or working together in a physical office. 

These 4 pillars are essential to have a healthy work culture whether it is remote or not

Trust Is Everything

You have to build trust with the team. For example, if you have a family living away from you, outside the country, separately, you will notice that you trust them regardless of anything.

Whatever they say or do, you trust them completely. You may feel worried at times but you have the trust intact. It’s the same with the team members. If you trust them completely, you’d be able to work smoothly. How do you build this trust? An introductory session is very important. I spent an hour with all my team members individually, in the beginning, to talk about their career goals and life goals as a casual conversation.

We discussed and shared my personal goals, my career history, my motivation, what I like and believe in, things like that. I believe that we cannot have a healthy professional relationship without having a personal relationship.

Acknowledge The Effort 

Take a few seconds out of your schedule to acknowledge or appreciate the effort put in by your team members even if it is a small task because that’s all it takes, a few seconds.

In the remote setting, receiving feedback happens via email or on call so be mindful in your approach to the smallest effort put in by the team members. 

Constructive Criticism 

There will be times when you may want things done differently with certain changes. Be mindful of the way you ask of it. Do not discourage or belittle the effort put in by the team member. Instead, politely ask for change, give positive feedback.

Make sure you politely state a reason why their submission would not work and appreciate the time and effort they put in. But most importantly, help the person with solutions or tips to get it done correctly without putting him/her down. 

Know, You Don’t Know All

While working remotely, you don’t see your team members working, you only get updates that help you determine the status of the project and the active status of your team members.

There may be times when you feel frustrated because of a delay in response but you need to understand that they may be in another meeting or maybe up to something urgent or even stuck with unavoidable domestic obligations.

Therefore be kind and have patience with what you are not able to see. Trust and keep faith in your team members. 

This structure is necessary for a strong trust-based relationship within the team.

If this structure is built, whether you work remotely always or choose to work with a hundred percentage physical attendance, or even if you go for a hybrid solution, you will have a smooth functioning team and efficient goal achievement.