The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the landscape of work as we know it. For many organizations, this has meant moving to a virtual environment, with face-to-face meetings becoming a rarity.
The pandemic has forced organizations to change the way they operate, with many now working in a virtual environment. While this presents its own challenges, it also offers leaders the opportunity to develop new skills and better understands their teams.
What element of work needs to be virtual vs face to face?
There are certain elements of work that need to be done face-to-face in order to be effective. For example, when onboarding new employees or conducting performance reviews, it’s important to have that personal interaction in order to build trust and rapport. However, there are also many elements of work that can be done virtually, such as team meetings or training sessions.
The key is to identify what needs to be done in person, and what can be done remotely.
Elements of work that need to be done face to face
- Onboarding new employees – onboarding new employees is one of the most important elements of both the company and the employee, this means that it is crucial to have that personal interaction in order to build trust and rapport.
- Conducting performance reviews – another important element of work, conducting performance reviews allows for employees to get feedback from their managers about their work and progress. Conducting these reviews face to face will allow for a more open and honest conversation.
- Building trust and rapport – as mentioned above, when onboarding new employees or conducting performance reviews, or in a few other scenarios, trust and a good rapport with the employee is crucial, making face-to-face interactions key.
While there are certain elements of work that need to be done in person, there are also many that can be done virtually
Elements of work that can be done virtually
- Team meetings – Team meetings can be just as effective when done virtually, through the use of video conferencing tools such as Microsoft teams, Zoom, or Google Hangouts. This allows team members to participate in meetings from any location.
- Training sessions – While conducting training sessions in person is often seen as the best way to ensure everyone is engaged, this isn’t always the case. In fact, virtual training sessions can be just as effective, if not more so, than those done in person. This is because virtual training allows participants to engage with the material in a variety of ways.
- Presentations – While presentations can be given virtually, using tools such as PowerPoint or Prezi, this doesn’t mean they are ineffective. In fact, virtual presentations can be just as effective, if not more so, than those done in person.
The key is to identify what needs to be done in person, and what can be done virtually. By doing this, leaders can effectively manage their teams, whether they’re in the office or working remotely.
Inject as much team-based downtime as possible that can be F2F
It’s also important to have team-based face-to-face downtimes, such as team lunches or after-work drinks. This is a chance for team members to socialize and build relationships outside of work. It can also be an opportunity for leaders to get to know their team members on a personal level.
Benefits of F2F team-based downtime
- Team members will have a chance to socialize and get to know each other better outside of work.
- Leaders can get to know their team members on a personal level.
- It can help build trust and rapport among team members.
- It can improve communication within the team.
- It can help reduce stress and promote a healthy work-life balance.
Consider what roles need to be outsourced vs kept inhouse
When it comes to deciding what roles need to be kept in-house and what can be outsourced, it’s important to consider the skillsets of your team members. For example, if you have a team of designers, it might make sense to outsource the development work to a specialist agency. However, if you have a team of salespeople, it’s probably best to keep that work in-house.
Advantages of getting a role outsourced
- You can focus on your core competencies.
- You can save time and money.
- You can access specialist skills and knowledge.
- It can improve efficiency and productivity.
- It can help you to scale your business.
Disadvantages of getting a role outsourced
- There is a risk of losing control over the work.
- There is a risk of poor communication.
- There is a risk of quality issues.
- It can be difficult to build a good rapport with the outsourced team.
- There is a risk that the work will not be completed to your standards.
When it comes to deciding what roles need to be outsourced vs kept in-house, it’s important to consider the skillsets of your team members and what will make the most sense for your business.
Do you have any questions about virtual leadership or working with a remote team? Leave us a comment below and we’ll be happy to answer them!
Leadership is about creating connections with each other – how are you doing that?
As a leader, it’s important to connect with your team on a regular basis. This can be done through virtual team meetings, one-on-one catch-ups, or even just sending out regular updates via email or Slack. The key is to keep lines of communication open so that you can stay up-to-date on what’s going on with your team.
- Listening skills – are you really hearing what your team is saying? It’s important to listen to your team and understand their needs. This can be done by asking questions, listening to their suggestions, and taking their feedback on board. By doing this, you’ll be able to build a better understanding of your team and what they need from you as a leader.
- Nonverbal cues – in a virtual environment, it’s easy to misread nonverbal cues. This can lead to misunderstandings and conflict. To avoid this, it’s important to be aware of your team’s body language and tone of voice. If you’re unsure about something, ask them to clarify.
- Giving and receiving feedback – feedback is an essential part of any leader-team relationship. It’s important to give feedback that is clear, concise, and constructive. It’s also important to ask for feedback from your team so that you can continue to improve as a leader.
Reminding people about the shared purpose and values of the team
Finally, it’s important to remember that the pandemic has changed the way we work, but it hasn’t changed the importance of having a shared purpose and values within a team. If anything, the pandemic has highlighted the need for teams to come together and support each other through tough times.
The advantages and disadvantages of virtual or face-to-face interactions are briefly outlined in this article, with a focus on the importance of communication and connection within a team. If you are a leader, it is important to keep in mind the different needs of your team members in order to create a positive and productive working environment, whether that be virtual or face-to-face. If you have any questions about virtual leadership or working with a remote team, leave us a comment below and we’ll be happy to answer them!