• Robert Chernin

Team Leadership In 2020 - Online Meeting Burnout

Well it looks like we’ll all be working from home (WFH) for awhile. Hard to believe that leading technology companies have been telling employees to expect working from home to become a permanent change. What does that mean for future employee engagement?

Manager Perspective

As a long-time corporate team leader, I’m frustrated that I never see my team all together anymore. After eight months working like this, communication issues have become the norm. Sure my team and I can always do a Zoom or MS Teams call together and have a quick conversation to identify and try to resolve issues, but are we all really understanding and connecting with each other?

Do I know if someone has had a bad day? Can I tell if someone is recovering from being sick? Just got engaged? Had a terrible customer call?

When we used to work together physically, I could spot these things. And everyone knew if our department boss was unhappy about something – Everyone could tell just by gauging the energy change in the office.

When brought together, all these little pieces of knowledge I used to pick up from my staff as I went about my day informed what I was going to do next, and helped me adjust my approach. I didn’t realize how much leaders relied on them to navigate though challenges and opportunities until they were taken away.

Employee Perspective

An industry colleague told me about an employee he manages who was irritated when asked to participate in a 30-minute webinar setup to chat about upcoming projects and generally catch up on things. He thought it was a waste of his time and was clearly irritated throughout the whole call. My colleague explained why he had setup the call, telling him he wanted to get a feel for how he was doing generally but even after understanding and agreeing to the purpose of the call, the employee's irritation didn't go away. He laughed and asked me "Is there something wrong with him?"

I told him there is most likely nothing wrong with him, but I do think there is something wrong with the situation we are all in. Instead of gaining insights through daily interactions in the office, leaders are left with arranging web meetings that feel stuffy and contrived, leaving everyone in the meeting relieved to have it finally over. How can leaders get a sense of how people really are, if they are fake-acting through each web call?

Working remotely can get lonely and some of your employees might start to feel isolated. Social activities were baked into our everyday life, and replacing them with stiff, contrived activities only serves to bring further attention to how disconnected people have become.

To maintain productivity and innovation in this era of WFH, it is imperative that you create opportunities for your remote employees to re-connect with one another, and reform bonds of trust that support innovative practice.

Introducing The Strong Game - Solving these issues in the online world

This is why we’ve built The Strong Game. In a matter of a minutes, any team leader can custom build or download a game and run it virtually with their team. Watch your team work together to get the highest score, while bonding over common issues, learning about each other, and having a great time. When the game ends, people will feel connected to one another as if it was 2019 all over again.

Our game platform helps leaders engage their WFH teams – This is our focus. So if you are a leader or in a team at work and would like a tool to help you reconnect, please contact us about setting up a free account. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to grow and develop our employee engagement platform.

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