In today’s post, I wanted to share four additional differences when working remote – focus, motivation, and inner drive, to relationship building and visibility.
In general, many things get magnified in the remote space – from clarity, or lack of clarity, around communication, processes, roles, goals; to what we actually see on the screen. This means that we may need to be more intentional in sharing information, checking assumptions and confirming that our messages were understood in the way they were communicated.
Motivation - When working remotely, a lot of us need to rely on our own inner motivation and self-direction to get things done. For those who like to work autonomously, it’s great! Being clear on what we need to excel as a team member, leader or business owner is key.
As I wrote yesterday, “No person is an island” and we do want to make sure we are clear on our strengths, and style preferences. It’s also key to note that when we over leverage our strengths, that they can become a blind spot. In the remote space this may mean that they get over magnified. So, if I have a love of learning I may keep learning, rather than getting work done. What are the strengths you are able to leverage? What’s important about your work? What drives you? What do you need to be aware of in case it gets over magnified?
For more on Motivation and Remote Work, check out some of the episodes of the Remote Pathways Podcast.
You’ll also want to check out Week 6 of the 52 Weeks of Remote Work.
What is important for you about motivation in the remote space?
Context - One of the major challenges in the remote space is that we see each other usually only through the small window of the screen. As I write in Effective Virtual Conversations, a great activity to undertake is “what’s outside your screen”? What can we do to share more about the context of our work? That might include:
- Sharing a little more about your desk
- Sharing what’s outside your window
- Talking about what is a priority in your work
- Sharing more about the way work is done, or preferences are in your location (especially if you are a virtual team)
What context pieces are important to share?
Visibility and proactivity - Visibility and proactivity is key in the remote space. Some remote workers feel that their careers get stuck because they aren’t visible like those in an office space. I would invite a perspective that visibility is less about where you are, but how you approach work. What are you doing to be visible, to bring people together, to connect with peers and other stakeholders, to be proactive in connecting on a regular basis with your boss and team?
Regular co-working sessions may provide an opportunity for learning more and connecting with your peers, as well as hearing what you are working on. These sessions may run for an hour, half day or more.
What is important for you to explore around visibility? What do you need to be more proactive about?
Focus - For many remote workers, productivity can actually increase when moving to work in the remote space. A study by Stanford Business School, headed by Professor Nicholas Bloom found a 13% increase in productivity by those who WFH (Work From Home). You will find a copy of the original publication here at Prof. Bloom’s site.
For another interesting article on the same topic check out Scott Mautz’s Inc article.
Even though there are differences with remote work, it’s still important to focus in on the basics of high performance. Be sure to check out the posts I have written on the Six Factors of High Performing Teams. How are we being clear about the ROLES, GOALS, PRACTICES of our work, in addition to connecting in with our vision and mandate, and being clear bout what success will look like?
Tomorrow, we’ll explore another remote working ingredient for success – managing boundaries!
See you then,
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