There is no denying that there has been a big shift in how people work, operate, and communicate today. Due to the ever-changing world of technology, remote work and flexible work teams are becoming more and more of the norm.
On this week’s #MillennialTalk Twitter Chat with guest, Cali Yost, we discussed essential skills and tools that managers and entrepreneurs need in order to lead a successful flexible work team. With the right structure and systems in place, leading a flex and remote work team doesn’t have to be a headache, instead, it could be the solution to achieving work-life balance! Sounds great right? Check out more below…
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Scroll down for a recap of this weeks Q&A:
@caliyost: #flexiblework team–team of people who are flexible in how (tech), when (time), where (place/space, onsite and remote) they do their best work based on their jobs and workstyle
@PokeyLuWho: A flexible work team goes with the flow… they still get it done, but can adapt to situations as they grow and change. And they’re ready to step in where neeeded to help someone out.
@caliyost: Prefer “prices and payoffs”–first, payoffs. According to our research: of workers w/ #flex, 60% say more productive/engaged (34% say no change, in other words no worse)
Now “prices”: To be effective #flexwork team, requires extra level of intentionality, planning, and coordination of work w/ supervisors, colleagues and customers to be successful.
@dialbanese: Having the ability to walk across the office and speak in-person can make communication a bit easier. Tone can be misunderstood over messaging apps/email.
@caliyost: TRAINING in how to #workflex well–in most cases training is not happening. Most people “flexing” by seat of their pants. Impact of training is significant–data (and two decades of experience) show productivity even higher w/ guidance as is ability to communicate, create and innovate with colleagues/team when #flexworkers are trained
@perryrosemedia: Trust, motivation (paid well, job security..let’s be honest) and celebrating wins. Building a culture (even digitally) to make them feel respected and valued means top performing talent is inevitable – and vice versa which too many corp jobs learn the hard way
@ChelseaKrost: How to promote collaboration:
– Have a set time devoted to group discussions
– Encourage on-going, open discussion through group chats
– Spark conversation about what project/tasks certain members are working on to see if they align with other team members
@caliyost: First, most team members in most orgs are not in multiple locations all the time. This is important. Yes, small % are completely virtual and remote, but most not. That said, have TEAM coordinate when to schedule and use overlap days when everyone is physically together. Have team lunch? Regular strategy/review session?
@LeadinStilettos: Know your teammates very well. Know what sets them on fire and what puts out their flames. Create a culture of communication and collaboration built on trust!
@ChelseaKrost: Focus on more than just WORK. Come up with fun & interactive activities that employees can do online together such as social media/skype happy hours, online games & friendly competitions.
@caliyost: Putting #flexwork aside, leaders should ask how they’re intentionally promoting culture and camaraderie now. Reality: most aren’t
First step to promote culture/camaraderie–ask TEAM “what does that look like to you when its happening? What can we do to achieve that vision given way we work?”
@FlannCasey: We recently split up our group and had each group try to find three things in common with one another and three things that were different. It was a way to get to know each other.
@ChelseaKrost: Tips for managing a team:
-Set clear deadlines & expectations
-Have mutual SOW agreements with each team member
-Always be available for communication & assistance…I 💜 the idea of “office hours” so that your team has reassurance of your steady availability
-Make ✔️ ins a priority (daily, weekly etc.)
@caliyost: #Flexwork or not, what do you do NOW to manage your team well? All good basics of management matter, even more w/ #flex. Presence=performance no longer enough. Articulate vision, set clear expectations, offer consistent feedback, hold people accountable–all that can be done in person or virtually. As realities shift, work w/ team to recalibrate #flex to ensure work gets done. Always check as leader: is shift due to real performance issue, or just your preferred way to work?
@Runnymedecap: Periodic in person meetings and social events do wonders for bringing flexible teams closer together. It’s an expense but worthwhile ROI!
@Polymathically: Listen, listen, listen. Respect and trust go a long way. Make sure everyone is on the same page with the objectives, trust them, and course correct when necessary.
@ChelseaKrost: I suggest everyone one always working off of one master document that has clear information. Be sure the goals and timeline are clear and concise. Include scheduled check-in times so that everyone is up-to-date on each others progress.
Create a shared calendar that has all important dates marked down. This will help those that are more visual to SEE when things are due instead of just having dates written down.
@caliyost: When everyone is #remote all of the time (which again not norm for most teams) managing to performance, #communication and #tech are key. Even more important to plan regular check ins–phone is fine. Video even better (#myopinion). Use collaboration platforms like Asana or Trello to map/track projects timeline/assign tasks
@sabcostabile: Set clear expectations on how you want things done and engage regularly with your team
@EasySimpleSmart: My favourite communication quote: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”
#MillennialTalk Communication is a tricky one
@ChelseaKrost: #Tech has transformed the way we work! Team members can now connect & communicate without having to be in the same location at all times, easily collaborate (goodbye back & forth emails) and allows people to work while on the go…gotta love those smartphones (most of the time, lol)
@caliyost: Improvements: #tech makes easier to team and communicate (76%) and easier to #workflexibly (58%). Note: % increase w/ training (85% easier to team, 66% easier #workflex)
Not as positive: #tech created more work for you (40%) and feels a bit like “big brother” (40%). Not a majority, but high enough to pay attention to when rolling out #tech
@PokeyLuWho: Video conferencing is the easiest way to be involved without physically being in the room. People are attending a meeting via video almost every time I’m attending one in person.
@ChelseaKrost: Hands down @googledocs is my favorite! Love being able to work off of one document with other team members.
@caliyost: Fave tools/apps: use Asana (project management), Hubspot (CRM), Slack (messaging), MailChimp, Zoom (video/collaboration), Dropbox, good old phone, email and text.
@BrianHartPR: Office 365 has several. Consolidating much of our tech/tools under that platform has been a game change
@ChelseaKrost: My biggest prediction regarding how the flex workplace will evolve = More people will adopt the @dollyparton method: “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” —Dolly Parton
THIS -> “We need to take a more flexible approach to both the workplace & the work we do; one that provides us w/ the insight & experience we offer but focused not on the individual processes & instead on the outcomes our orgs. are seeking to achieve.” @dcoplin
@caliyost: Spaces and #tech that enable #flexwork will be important, but focus expands to OPTIMIZING–knowledge, skills and tools individuals, teams and supervisors need to actively “flex” even better, smarter.
Less about “workplace” and more about how, when and where (broadly defined) work can be done to increase productivity, expand pool of talent, encourage innovation, and improve wellbeing
@TheEngagingEd: I think it will be the norm and the regular, vs the exception – especially with the rise of coworking spaces.
Ready for more? Check out our #Millennialtalk RECAP