Right now, our wonderful community is working from home, with everyone isolated from their work buddies and peers.
We believe that right now we all need all the support we can get. As we find ourselves unable to grab that coffee or glass of wine with peers and discuss how others are navigating this crisis, we are naturally at risk of feeling detached. So, we decided to reach out to some of your peers on your behalf to ask them a few key questions that we felt you all might be interested in. We know that at the moment the most important thing is to remain authentic in who you are and what you offer. What we have always offered is simple: connection.
Despite the fact that this is an unprecedented global crisis and is a foreign and an overwhelming situation for all of us, some of our more senior leaders have experienced global economic challenges in the past, have used the opportunity to adapt, pivot and grow and have remained standing. From chatting with our candidates, it is clear that, unlike some of our more senior folk, our younger practitioners have never been presented with these global challenges in their professional lives.
So, in the spirit of helping those around us and cultivating hope, let’s share, learn and support each other until we’re all back at our desks - guns blazing.
Today we ask Fiona Carney, Chief Marketing and Operations Director at Microsoft to share some of her advice for navigating this time whilst taking care of her team.
What do you feel you have done in your career to date that is now paying off and helping you pivot to working remotely?
So, from my perspective we work remotely a lot with teams based around the world, so the remote element hasn't been a shock so much, but the length of time doing it is and it's really important to figure out new ways to check in with people regularly. We also need to recognise that they are dealing with multiple other things going on at home (maybe kids, partners, parents all under one roof trying to school / work etc.)
How are you managing your day now and how is it different to your day in the office? What would your advice to managers be to protect a team culture and morale?
My advice is make time for a virtual lunch every week and some space set aside for some coffee chats virtually to just catch up on anything and understand what people are dealing with. Make sure that the team knows it's ok to not be at full capacity right now and that everyone has to manage around other elements going on at home, be clear that they should just mark their boundaries and let their teams know. Support each other - it's ups and downs, so be there for your peers and check in regularly. Make space for some outside time, a walk whilst on a conference call, or some virtual yoga helps to keep some balance. Finally, switch off when you have to. I try to make dinner with the family at 6.30 a close off time or at least a break in day before night calls. make sure you manage your own time as otherwise the week sucks you in.
What do we each individually need to be doing to help our firms thrive in this climate?
Don't panic, listen to the team's scenarios individually, stay aligned and focused on where we are trying to support customers and learn for what will be the next generation of new normal ways of working. Good things will come from this, it's a time of innovating new ways to work remotely in groups and 121. Ultimately, we can learn from it as well as managing the here and now.
What are you grateful for?
Microsoft Teams :) and having a husband who can help with the home schooling during this time!.