My top 3 learnings from week 1 of remote working

Niamh McCarthy 23.03.2020

As I begin to prepare for week 2 of remote working at Morgan McKinley, I couldn’t help but reflect on the working week gone by and my top 3 learnings from week 1 of remote working.

Not unlike the Kubler Ross change curve the start of my week began with pangs of denial and anger, moving to exploring countless articles for answers until I quickly slapped myself into accepting this new unwelcome reality. I am fully accepting the critical social distancing, (from my rural cocoon I saw 2 milk trucks, a car and jeep all week) feeling health fears for family and friends, seeing an overload of information, (I have quickly learned to trust only reputable sources like HSE.ie) and for many of us fortunate to be able to continue to work, we dived feet first into remote working.

It’s certainly not the remote working or work from home we were all accustomed to, for in that picture your lifestyle norms continue. This “Covid 19” remote working brings a whole new set of challenges. Personally I am one to always look for the learnings and positives, whilst I know this is not easy for everyone as we all battle together, I take comfort it will be temporary and seek learnings from it.

I read countless articles this week on remote working and from living it my top 3 learnings from week 1 are:

Goal setting: For many of our clients they continue with hiring plans and we are actively supporting those plans and continue to support job seekers looking to move. Diaries were hectic with several calls each day and information to relay back to our businesses. Time quickly evaporated. Starting into week 2, setting time aside to also work on business goals each day that will drive our business forward is key whilst keeping communications ongoing across my businesses. I’ll be keeping my calendar open & visible so it’s clear when I am available or when I’m booked into head down time.

Managing output versus input: As a leader trust is key to remote working. As many of us are now isolated working from home or with our new “personal assistants” our children, who can’t understand why we are at home but not available all day. That’s a lot of pressure on people. As leaders with our support, direction and understanding it’s important to trust our people that business activity and productivity will continue to happen. We hired adults who all stood up this week to the new remote working challenges. Looking to the outputs of our teams’ work is most important right now. For me that is looking to the results that remove obstacles and business wins big and small that drive growth and stability. Whether the input is done while a child sleeps, or after your lunch time run, as long as it’s quality activity it will drive business results.

Understanding individual needs: As a leader, I learned this week that everyone will have different needs during this challenge and for me not to assume I already know everyone’s needs. That means asking more and more what each of your team need in terms of support, direction & guidance. Right now, tests of resilience are playing out both professionally and personally for people and I learned the importance of checking in on both those impacts to one’s life.

 

My positive after week 1

Gratitude & humour: Being a work outside the home Mum and like everyone I’m constantly juggling, I am now revelling in how much my little girl makes me laugh. Living a busy life, I hate to admit I forgot that. At times this last week, time has positively stood still for me to really appreciate all I have. I have loved how as a business Morgan McKinley have kept our team spirit and sense of humour during this serious time, it has done wonders to alleviate the challenges we are all experiencing. That’s one positive I am taking from all this craziness.

Some of the sources I followed who posted articles this week that you may find helpful too

 

Tsedal Neeley - https://hbr.org/2020/03/15-questions-about-remote-work-answered

Neil Curran - https://www.linkedin.com/in/curranneil/

Social Talent - https://www.linkedin.com/company/social-talent/

Greg Savage - https://www.linkedin.com/in/gregpsavage/


Can anyone relate? What are the learnings and positives you took from last week?

 

If you would like any career advice or need support with recruitment plans don’t hesitate to contact me at nmccarthy@morganmckinley.com or call 021 2300 300.

Niamh McCarthy's picture
Director
nmccarthy@morganmckinley.com

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