We’ve seen plenty of helpful information being shared already about how to get set up from home. Many of you will have already explored new technology and will be settling into a new temporary normal of remote working.
This new temporary normal relies on technology to make it work. But it also relies on people. Last week I shared a blog about our experience of the current situation. I talked about how we’ve all been struggling to come to terms with not being in our office on the beautiful farm. About how much we all love coming into work and getting together to catch up on everything and nothing.
So today I wanted to share our remote strategy with you, from a people perspective.
With remote working, people time is more important than ever
We shared a blog a while back about the importance of mental health awareness in the workplace. If this quick adaptation to remote working has taught me anything, it’s that we have to double down on our principles and practices around mental health.
On a normal week at FF, we like to check in with each other, have a coffee and a chat. We hold a group huddle every Monday to talk about our personal development and share ideas. We’ve built an open space to share what’s most challenging to us.
Here’s how we’ve double down on this practice in the last couple of weeks:
- I check in daily daily with each of the team one on one, this includes:
- Checking in with their mental health
- Checking in on how their families are doing
- Checking in on how they’re coping working with little ones around
- We hold a team video call every morning over coffee
- We continue to talk about personal development
- We continue to share ideas
- We continue to share our challenges (big or small)
This process won’t instantly make remote working easy breezy. I won’t sugar coat this and pretend we won’t all have our challenges.
Some of us find it really hard to have our routines uplifted and squashed. Some have trouble self managing.
But making time for your people and having a process they can rely on will mean you can get to the real stuff faster, and figure out ways to support each and every one of them in the areas they need help.
Supporting your team may mean more flexibility
Some of our team have very little children, and may need to work evenings to fit home working around their families. Some have older kids, and just need a two hour break at lunchtime to check in with them.
As far as I’m concerned, my people matter. Their home lives are important, and if they can’t work usual office hours, that’s fine. We will make it work. These are just some of the challenges we’ll work around in our daily check-ins.
We just make sure that our clients are reassured too. They need to know that work will continue as usual – the team are working away to get everything done, just not always between the hours of 9 and 5.
As the business owner, it’s important we share too
I’m really proud of the FF family and how they’re working through this strange time. As the business owner, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to have everything figured out. Sometimes that means we forget to share how we’re getting on with our team. We’re making all the decisions, but forgetting to share them with those they affect.
I had a call with a lovely client this week who shared this exact realisation. All three directors have spent the last week planning and working out next steps themselves, but they’d totally forgotten to communicate any of it to their staff. I suggested just letting their team know that payday next Friday will be happening, and that their jobs are safe.
It’s hard when the weight of the business is on our shoulders, but we can do our best to reassure our team by keeping them in the loop with the decisions we’re making.
Plus, you’re a living breathing human too, remember! Checking in doesn’t have to be a one-way conversation. Let your team support you too. You might just find it’s exactly what you need right now.
Take care of yourselves. Anything we can do to make this transition easier, you know we’re here to talk too.