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5 Things Your Team Wishes You Knew About Remote Work

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Briana Biancolin
Ten Thousand Coffees Team -
June 30, 2020

Many organizations want to take actionable steps to provide a psychologically safe remote culture. To understand the quickest and the best route to shift the paradigm we have to look at ways to provide relief. This is best done through the empathic lens of the employee and their experience. I’ve drummed up five things to note while brainstorming solutions to support a remote team.

1. Feedback Requires Follow Up

Creating a culture of trust takes time—but the ROI is limitless. 

Inc. reports, “those who are employed at high-trust companies report 74% less stress, 106% more energy at work, 50% higher productivity, 13% fewer sick days, 76% more engagement, 29% more satisfaction with their lives, and 40% less burnout.”

Once employees feel like it’s safe to share their feedback, treat their comments like golden nuggets. Carefully mining the information is an important first step, but it’s what you do with the feedback that counts. 

No one likes a metaphorically dusty suggestion box put in place to placate. It’s your job to show your employees that they’re valued by not only listening to their feedback but extracting action items, taking action, and then following up with them directly about the action that has been taken to address their comments. 

When you take employee concerns seriously, you’ll build trust and a better workplace for all.

2. Employees Desire Different Options for Connecting 

We’ve all heard about Zoom fatigue and the effect it has had on employees so let’s go beyond medium and talk content.

In a quarterly Global People Survey at PwC, the #1 thing employees consistently craved was more “relationship building and collaboration opportunities at work.” While some teammates appreciate a structured peer-to-peer mentorship call, another teammate might value more informal conversations.

Pre-COVID, big tech encouraged “serendipitous” moments by building community spaces within their gigantic compounds. The idea being that these spaces would get people to gather and exchange innovative, magical ideas. We don’t exactly have the luxury of the Googleplex but we can use this same principle to create space for human moments to happen without being too prescriptive. 

By providing preferred formats for check-ins, progress updates, and supportive conversations it allows employees to match with teammates. This flexibility bodes well for the quality of the connection and content of the call.

3. Employees Need More Time to Manage Goals

Many organizations may be feeling like they’re in the pressure cooker when it comes to making up for lost productivity. Transferring that stress, even unconsciously, can be toxic for employees. 

Whether your employee is facing barriers to a private workspace, caring for a vulnerable family member, or juggling work and childcare — the best thing you can do right now is give them time to adjust. 

It can help managers to dedicate space each week where teams can get things off their chest.  Distress signals are easier to spot with our team in-person. In a remote culture, we need to provide new ways to check-in that feel safe for employees.

4. They Want Quality Training

It’s intimidating for team members to learn all kinds of new software/hardware at once — even when it’s meant to support them. Providing the necessary training by qualified team members and facilitators helps. Using Ten Thousand Coffees helps nurture feelings of workplace confidence via community. .

This extends beyond technology. A Ten Thousand Coffees survey of enterprise employees from March 2020 reports that 61% of employees are unclear what their career development plan is.

Team members who are managing teams directly could benefit from a deeper professional development fund that encapsulates training on how to manage a team through a crisis. 

Managers need to feel supported by the organization so that they can show up fully for their team. It’s impossible to expect that even the most seasoned manager is handling the current climate with ease, they need extra support.

5. Transparent, Regular Updates

Many organizations have the word “transparency” written into their core values and it’s a fantastic theme to incorporate into your business. Now is the perfect time to rise to the occasion and communicate with staff about the current climate.

Generic statements cause anxiety in employees who worry they aren’t hearing the truth. Use statistics to illustrate and it can help to reduce fears.

Opt For a Personalized Approach

Growing uncertainty has surfaced many topics that we aren't accustomed to talking about at work. This has created space to connect over our diversity of experiences and generated a much needed discussion around what it’s like to work remotely. 

Ten Thousand Coffees provides supportive people-to-people experiences that enhance training, builds community, and allows for a personalized approach to the new normal at work. Request a free demo or join us for our weekly webinars to see how the platform can support your business and help you to thrive through transformation.

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