Lockdown Hints and Tips

Tom Costello
Posted on

Are you managing teams at a distance?

‘People need people’ as Will Schultz the ‘Human Element’ psychologist said. However, different people need other people to different degrees depending upon the situation.


Top tips for managing people at a distance

Check with each person their expectations and needs for contact. Does that match with your expectations? Does that feel too much or too little given the deadlines and targets you have? Agree the first few dates and monitor whether it feels too much/too little/just enough as you go along

Set up a regular full team meeting online every week if you have key short term deliverables or once a week just to ‘check in’ with each other. Make these meetings at the same day and time each week so that they become a good habit and even a beacon of hope and connection between you all.


Successful video calls - top tips

  1. Check your technology works, any documents you want to share at least 10-15 minutes before the call starts – is your wifi connecting, check there are no software updates about to start!
  2. If it’s a large group of people/ complex call consider asking someone to help you administer the call and help with mute options and setting up virtual breakout rooms.

Resilience and wellbeing hints & tips

  1. Have freshwater to hand at all times and keep it topped up
  2. Make sure you get out into the fresh air at least once a day
  3. Find the sun in your home and sit there if you can. If you have a dog or a cat, watch where they choose to fall asleep during the day… they are good at finding sunshine and cool spots.
  4. Remember to be kind to yourself in thoughts and actions. Treat yourself each day to something nice, it could be looking out of the window, taking a nice shower or bath, going ‘nice food’ shopping.
  5. Call a friend or a family member you care about – it could be someone different each day. Giving your time to listen to others is one of the sure-fire ways to help others listen to you too.

Leadership Top Tips

  1. If you learn one skill this year – make it listening.
  2. Know your purpose – it will help you to reach your destination even though the route you use may have some twists, turns and changes along the way.
  3. Check the alignment of your personal values with those of the organisation – doing what you believe in and what is important to you will bring meaning to what you do every day.
  4. Building trust and openness during the good times will stand you in good stead for the tougher times – and it’s never too late to start.
  5. Commitment and engagement of people may take time when change is around. Remember the starting point for everyone is different.
  6. Agility – be willing to flex your style and approach. No one is the same and so be willing to tune in to what makes each person tick.

Working from home - top tips

  1. Set a task list, allocate times when you will do them during your day/ week. Put in break times including when you will step outside and when you will finish your day.
  2. Have an area or even ‘work box’ if you don’t have a desk that contains all you might need to work, e.g. stamps, envelopes, paper, hole punch, pens, chargers. It’s great because you can move them around your home with you and put them away when your working day finishes. Yes finish! If you don’t set a time you may find you end up sat at your computer all day and into the evening.
  3. Make your work area as pleasant as possible with good lighting, a good seat and music or a radio. This is especially true for you if you have kids schooling at home. There is a reason why teachers have a staff room and go there three times a day! It is the inner sanctum of coffee, biscuits and relaxation away from the hubbub of the classroom. Create the same sanctum for you, even if it’s just your favourite drink.