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A few thoughts to get us started:
– How much does direct in-person supervision impact your team’s productivity?
– What metrics are you using to measure your team’s productivity?

Now a second perspective:
– How much does direct in-person supervision impact your productivity?
– What metrics are you using to measure your productivity?

Any insights based on your answers to the above?

Many leaders/managers/supervisors believe in-person supervision is required of others but not themselves. The in-person work philosophy folks believe they have the ability to personally impact output. How many missed tasked or deadlines have you experienced working in the in-person environment? Typically, the personal impact is overstated. Do supervisors really look over the shoulders of individuals all day long?

Numerous studies have documented increased productivity from remote workers in a wide range of business sectors in different countries. Interestingly the positive trends were prominent prior to the COVID lockdown of 2020.

The upsides of working remotely:
– Individual autonomy to make schedules
– Less commute time saving 400+ hours a years
– More exercise
– Less unproductive conversations/activity

The downsides
– Less unproductive conversations/activity resulting in less cohesion
– Many workers do not have the tools to support remote work (capable internet and other technology tools)
– Isolation of individual workers

What makes an effective team whether it is a remote or in-person team?

In J. Richard Hackman’s Six Conditions Model, team success is defined by the following:
· Task Performance – the team delivers what is expected by the customer/client on time, with quality.
· Quality of the Group Process – the team becomes increasingly effective over time.
· Member Satisfaction – the team contributes to the learning, growth and satisfaction of each member

I simplify this to; the team delivers what was expected on time and the team and individual team members improve over time.

How to ensure your team is successful?

Consider focusing considerable effort on two elements of the Six Conditions Model:
1) Solid Structure
2) Supportive Context.

Solid Structure
What has been taken away in the remote environment? The familiar structure has been removed and teams are in unfamiliar territory. Two elements are consistent routines and limited personal interactions. I consider team norms of behavior the most important part of a solid structure.

Norms of behavior are typically consistent when in-person. In the remote environment, expect to put forth significant effort to develop stability. Consistency tends to reduce the need for supervision.

The in-person environment also supports regular interpersonal interactions that build strong relationships. That is missing when working remotely. Therefore, being deliberate about building those opportunities into the remote workday may be a key to building an effective team.

Is it possible to integrate “hallway time” into your daily remote routines? I think it is. However, it has to make sense and fit the personality and rhythm of your organization. How can you create the time and space for those interactions to take place spontaneously as well as planned?

Supportive Structure
Frustration and stress result when missing the correct tools to do your job. Computer connections, software, hardware, cameras, VPN connections, training, education, and readily accessible support are required of everyone in the remote environment.

The time and space required to build a high performing team will never be available if you leave this item to chance. Outfit your team for success.

Think Observation Rather than Supervision
Create the conditions for you to observe your team rather supervise them. Research has validated the conditions required to create a high performing team. The two we talked about are two of those conditions.

What would be the impact on the productivity of your operation, if you could observe your team functioning at a high level rather than supervising to ensure compliance?