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Rethink + reinvent + remote work advice from an astronaut
It’s been a tumultuous period (to say the least) since the last time we sent out a From Corporate newsletter. The coronavirus pandemic drove the world in a completely different direction and changed our lives in every way imaginable, from how we work and study to how we travel, socialize, and worship. What could have taken decades to manifest happened in only 12 weeks. And now many of us feel at least 10 years older!
Events like this show how unpredictable life is and that nothing is set in stone. However, as humans we learn to adapt, reassess our lives, and discard our old ways of living to make room for the new. Perhaps we even realize that what we did in the past wasn’t the best way of doing things. We become more resilient.
In this spirit of reinventing ourselves, From Corporate is now The Connected Company. Beth, our brilliant gatekeeper of From Corporate since the very beginning said adieu as she embarks on a new adventure (we'll miss her sorely!).
As The Connected Company, we’ll focus on helping you stay connected with your customers, employees, and teammates in this rapidly changing world. We’ll share stories and insights into how best to serve your employees, how to reduce silos in a hybrid workplace of remote vs part-remote vs in-office, and how to digitally transform the way you worked previously. This is actually what ScreenCloud’s founders are writing a book about, but more on that later.
This month’s theme is remote work: something long predicted but now our current reality, whether we like it or not. Here are a few ways companies (and one astronaut) have built trust, fostered internal communications, and improved culture in a remote work environment.
"Life might be a race against time but it is enriched when we rise above our instincts and stop the clock to process and understand what we are doing and why. A wise decision requires reflection, and reflection requires a pause."
— Frank Partnoy, Waiting Game
A recent survey conducted by CultureX, Josh Bersin, and Waggl, asked over 400 HR leaders and employees to describe the most effective actions their organizations had taken to facilitate remote work during the coronavirus crisis. Analysis of the responses showed that the best way to help manage a distributed workforce is by:
With her best-selling book Radical Candor, Kim Scott has inspired leaders all over the world to reshape their management styles and create healthy, bullshit-free work environments. She recently reflected on how her approach applies to a distributed workforce. Given that in-person communication is not possible for the time being, Scott reconsiders the benefits of virtual meetings. She also encourages managers to show compassion, nurture personal relationships, know when to admit "I don't know", and avoid ruinous empathy.
Astronauts—the one profession that seems so out-of-reach to most of us that we tend to think of our professional experience and theirs as mutually exclusive. But think again. Astronauts are the ultimate remote workers: they spend months cooped up in tiny metal boxes, working hard to please very demanding bosses thousands of miles away.
In this piece, Chris Hadfield, one of the most celebrated astronauts since Neil Armstrong, shares seven tips on mastering remote work and dealing with the isolation and loneliness that it can bring. We adore his rational optimism and his outlook on how the future is more Star Trek than Star Wars.
Culture is the backbone of an organization. It's the way people behave and interact with each other, how they make decisions, and which values they endorse. Prior to the pandemic, an office was the principal means for building and nurturing culture as it’s often conveyed by non-verbal communication during face-to-face exchanges.
Now that we’re all on Zoom, can we still create a successful culture without the office? The answer is YES. All you need are people, progressive policies, and flexible processes.
Remote work poses another challenge for today's leaders: building trust in a virtual team. What can we do besides the clichéd trust and community-building activities we’ve all seen before like playing "two truths and a lie”, hosting happy hours, and sharing pet GIFs? This article identifies two different types of trust—affective trust and cognitive trust—and actions you can take to effectively foster them in a remote team.
Two of ScreenCloud's founders, Mark and David, are working on a daunting yet exciting new project: writing a book titled—you guessed it—The Connected Company. In it, they’ll explore how companies are using technology and new approaches to connect and engage with their employees in a way that has been impossible up until now. And they need your help. We’re looking for anyone with internal communications experience to give us advice, or just ruminate with us about how internal comms needs to change or has changed in this new normal. If this is right up your alley, get in touch—we'd love to hear from you.
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Thanks to Kipras Štreimikis on Unsplash for the great cover photo 🙌