Resourcefulness in the new remote working reality

April 23, 2020 Susan Hilliar

Remote working is new to many of us and many organisations are settling into a strange new reality of managing employees all working in isolation. Whilst it’s been a few weeks since the government’s stay-at-home orders were announced, organisations are still having to adjust their ways of working as new challenges arise each day.

And we’ve certainly seen sparks of creativity during this period of time as businesses are thinking inventively to carry on being business as usual. Never has the internet kept us more connected with each other with events going virtual and meetings becoming videoconferences.

So, how can we make the most of all that great prep when the physical conference is postponed? How do you run that workshop virtually? This great creativity can come from anywhere in the organisation, and as different challenges come in thick and fast, now is the time to push resourcefulness.

Here are some key measures to create an environment where workers are resourceful:

Making expectations clear

Not having your team or colleagues sat together in the office means that you can’t just pop over to your colleague’s desk to ask a quick question or query or have in-person team meetings. This means you have to be even more communicative than before, especially to new recruits that haven’t had a chance to settle or even meet anyone in person yet. It’s important to talk to your colleagues and set expectations and make sure to be realistic. Colleagues might be juggling other priorities at the moment such as home schooling and taking care of vulnerable relatives so be prepared to be flexible. Checking in regularly with newer colleagues and having weekly team videoconferences to make sure that everyone is on track and readjusting expectations where needed is key.

Setting a framework

As well as getting used to the new remote working environment, organisations might also be adjusting to a new team, picking up other colleague’s work and taking on more responsibilities. The usual processes and go-to people for certain queries might have changed, and colleagues need to be aware of that. Managers need to make sure to set out a framework and identify new processes for tasks where applicable.

Have great collaboration tools

Some of us should be familiar by now with the likes of Webex, Zoom, Teams and Basecamp, and these tools are vital in keeping us all connected and helping move processes forward during the pandemic. However, not all collaboration tools suit every organisation so be sure to trial out a few to find one that sticks. Lots of companies are offering free access to their collaboration tools for a limited amount of time at the moment so make sure to take a look and see what’s best for your organisation.

Find inspiration from others

Every day brings a new challenge as well as new creative thinking and solutions. Every department and team are having to adapt so make sure to connect with wider teams in your organisation to find out the challenges they’re facing and the solutions they’re coming up with and see if it’s something you can apply. Identifying more resourcefulness means that you’re avoiding missed opportunities.

To be resourceful, you must be creative and collaborative. It’s about putting multiple heads together and finding the time to come up with solutions. Inspiration can come from anywhere and making sure you have the right tools in place to allow your colleagues to express new ideas is especially important at this time. Working from home might feel isolating at times, but it doesn’t have to halt creative thinking. 

About the Author

Susan Hilliar

"Some of the best stories come from the most unlikely sources – always be curious, always ask questions” ​​​​​​​ Susan Hilliar is Head of Public Realations at Cornerstone OnDemand, as a corporate communications professional she works with Cornerstone’s clients across Europe.

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