Remote working has become the new normal for many, especially those in the development world where work can easily be done in a remote setting. But continuous working from home does come with some downsides, such as burnout.
In a webinar sponsored by Devtech Group, innovation consultant Nils Vesk explained 14 of the most common mistakes that can affect a remote team’s performance. Here are some of the highlights:
Failing to understand that leadership means different things to different people.
To reconcile this, Vesk recommends trying to understand what leadership means to each person by asking them to share a significant leader they had in life. It’s also important for the leaders to share their interpretation of leadership, in addition to adopting some of what the team shared. “By doing that, what it means is we get very clear as to what type of leadership style they’re looking for and they get clear as to what type of leadership style we believe in,” said Vesk.
Measuring outcomes but not measuring behaviors.
“Unless we measure the behaviors we execute each and every day, it’s going to be unlikely that we can achieve the outcome,” Vesk said.
Failing to provide recognition and a sense of progress to individual and team members on a project.
According to Nils, people crave feedback, as well as a sense of movement from point A to B. Solutions to this mistake include using a scoreboard or providing specific feedback that is geared towards progress.
Assuming people have more mental bandwidth than they do.
People have more cognitive load than ever before. There are more decisions to make and more information to process, Vesk said. “Our job as leaders is to look for ways we can simplify this to make it shorter in terms of the amount of information they’ve got to process,” he said. Vesk recommends communicating through pictures when possible because we process pictures much faster than words. For example, use flow charts, pictures, and icons where possible.
Not allowing humor and fun into the work environment.
According to Vesk, there is a lot of research being done on the impact of fun on things like resilience, mindset, and problem solving in the workplace. “You don’t need to be a Jerry Seinfeld or an Amy Schumer, all you need is to have a couple of games in there from time to time…sometimes it’s about making light of the challenges that are out there, not ignoring them but it just helps us get through those tough times,” said Vesk. At Devtech, for example, at the beginning of every planning cycle, team leaders will ask their team what can be done to make things more fun.
For more details on these mistakes and the rest, as well as how to fix them, watch the webinar.