Honesty: The Backbone of Remote Working & a United Team

by Denise Cullen
March 30, 2020

Many of you may remember the series of blogs that I wrote whilst I attended AIB’s Women in Enterprise Growth Academy. As I have previously explained, it was a total game-changer for me. And now, I stand with confidence before my team knowing that they benefit hugely from everything I learned, and continue to learn. The number one lesson, for me, was that when you are a leader, you constantly need to evolve and improve all the time, continually being cognitive of the changes to the world around you.

Yesterday, I had a Zoom call with several of my fellow leaders to brainstorm and discuss the impact of COVID-19 on our businesses, and to share information, experience, and advice. As you can understand, due to the wide variety of businesses we are all involved in, the impact has been totally different for each of us. Creche and retail shops are closed for business temporarily, personal training is going virtual, nursing homes are on complete lockdown, struggling to get medical protective clothing. Tough leadership decisions are being made to protect staff, provide service to customers and to secure jobs for the future when we do come out on the other side.

The whole conversation made me think about how lucky I am. Enterprise Solutions is completely set up to work remotely, each member of our team can perform their duties 100% from anywhere. I’m sure our customers will be delighted to hear that. But, it made me think of the wellbeing of my employees and what, as a leader, I needed to have in place to support my team. Some of my employees are working from home for the first time and this can raise new challenges that I need to identify so I have solutions and advice ready.

So, my question to myself was: what happens when our whole workforce goes virtual? How can we achieve the same level of communication and collaboration remotely to deliver on business goals, maintain employee happiness and continue providing top-level customer service? People need people, we don’t work well in isolation.

So, to ensure my employee’s happiness and efficiency while working from, home I consider the following points:

Company Culture

With everyone working remotely, it can be difficult to keep our company culture prominent. To address this, I actively remind our team of our core values and the importance of living through them and run LIFT round tables virtually to encourage open honest communication.   

Isolation

As the leader of a business, it is essential that no member of our team feels isolated. Ensuring each employee has a good workspace with the correct equipment to communicate with their team, and that everyone dials into their department ‘Huddle’ each morning allows communication and collaboration to be maintained, even when working apart.

Increased Distractions

Setting tasks to help people stay focused and motivated helps individuals to figure out their personal working style, helping with prioritisation and goal setting.

Employee Visibility

This is down to trust, and we have built our team on trust. Personal responsibility and the use of our internal systems, such as our CRM system and file storage system Sharepoint, means that we all have live data to work from.  

Productivity

Managing effective meetings using video conferencing on Teams allows the whole team to work together to get the job done.

Relationships among co-workers

At Enterprise Solutions, we hold weekly Bake Fridays (virtually taking place whilst we are working remotely) to make sure all departments get a chance to be together. All internal communication is done using video conferencing to ensure we stay connected.

Work/Life Balance

This must be taken very seriously whilst working remotely. It is imperative that we look after our wellbeing and mental health. This is achieved by creating a timetable and sticking to it. Taking regular breaks, ensuring you eat well and go for a walk or getting some fresh air during your lunch break. 

Know when to log off – have a daily routine.

The time you start and the time you finish. Deciding the number of hours, you work in a day and ensuring you stick to it.

I personally think we need to maintain a level of discipline on ourselves when working remotely, remembering to eat healthier, exercise more in the gym or simply walking, and ultimately, more time to spend with our family can help to ensure we have happy employees that have a productive workday.


The greatest challenge for me in managing a team that is working remotely is to ensure I can empower my team, encouraging them to be brave, support them and trust them to lead themselves which will show amazing results for our customers”. 

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