Team working – Action planning for virtual teams

Team working – Action planning for virtual teams

Posted by Ellie McLavin

In response to the COVID 19 working restrictions with team members operating from home or more distanced in the workplace, our expert Trainer, Dot Gourlay, is sharing her expertise on how a live, virtual training course can provide teams with the opportunity to openly share the challenges they are facing and agree joint action plans to work smarter as a team.

Here are Dot’s thoughts as she reflects on the virtual training she has delivered with positive outcomes for teams.

What challenges are teams facing in the current climate?

“Within the current COVID 19 work climate, I have been very much aware of growing perceptions within individuals and teams I have been working with, that pressures are mounting all the time. Individuals have begun to feel that they have to be ‘available’ all the time and are working longer hours from home than they did when office based. As a result, their rest breaks can become less frequent and their physical activity levels can plummet. With this can also come a perceived need to demonstrate high levels of performance and also rapid response times to requests and emails – with individuals working autonomously to ensure no one is ‘let down.’

In reality, where team members are working in isolation from each other, they are more likely to experience: a decrease in team and 1:1 communications; individual perceptions of loss of control; increased feelings of uncertainty; feelings of being unsupported and a potential for a resulting decrease in productivity and individual well-being. This is something I have observed again and again over the years where teams are working disparately from each other.

Long term, this can potentially be seen as a drop in teamworking and also relationship breakdowns as well as ill health both psychologically and physically for some. This is where early, facilitated, intervention can prove not only preventative, but also incredibly positive.”

How can virtual training address these challenges?

“Proactive facilitated exploration into shared pressures and any negative perceptions within teams, can catalyse whole group discussions and then agreement on supportive action requirements for each team member to take forward. Spending positive time together during training also stimulates more informal as well as formal discussions as individuals support each other to reinstate a positive team culture.”

What learning outcomes can be achieved?

“Agreed actions from previous teamworking sessions have included: pooling resources to create a risk assessment and management culture; talking more regularly within meetings about support requirements and health impacts; ensuring comprehensive communication procedures are adhered to – as well as the many smaller actions everyone can take to show care and support for each other more readily.

In brief – a short online whole team discussion can be enlightening, supportive and culture changing for all.”

Click here for details of this team working course – ‘Action Planning for Virtual Teams’ and the benefits it can bring to your organisation