One of the biggest adjustments to working from home, or remotely, for me has been the struggle to feel like you’re “part of the team”. Obviously, you are part of the team, and you are doing the work that has been assigned to you as you go through your days, but it can be difficult to have a connection to the other members of your team when you don’t really see them often. Luckily, for me, our annual user’s conference was this past week in Vegas, which gave me a chance to be in the same place as many of the folks I come in contact with on a daily basis.
It was a good chance, not only to meet some of the same people I communicate with internally and put a face to the voice and/or email address, but also to work side by side on a massive project. (Putting together the labs and conducting the training lab sessions at the conference is quite the team effort!!)
In a nutshell, whereas a week ago I was still feeling my way around the organization, and finding my place in it, now I know I’m part of the team and exactly who I’m working with. Nothing brings out that knowledge quite like being thrown together into a stressful project. It’s bonding, if you will. 😉
On the other hand, it also shows me exactly how difficult it is to find those sort of bonding moments when you are working remotely all the time. As a manager of remote direct reports, I might try to make it a priority to get my team together for projects like this every once in a while. There are no team-building exercises that can replace the bonds that are forged in the midst of a large, stressful, project.
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