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Topics: Leadership, Talent Management, Teams
Confinement (voluntary or not), online work and projects
Does the confinement have any impact on the team members you manage?
- At the level of productivity
- In the field of interpersonal relations and communication
- The existence of conflicts and the way they are managed
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Dear Luís,

Until now i'm not confined yet, i still must go to the facilities of the company every day, but i can tell you that the number of persons in that facilities used to be 300 persons and now we are reduced to about 20, we have still work that implies the physical presence.

-At productivity level i think it decreased, but this should be temporary, because is a new way of working form many people they need time to adapt their habits and go back to previous productivity or increase.

- Communication after all is harder, face to face communication is always the best strategy, however again we are starting to adapting our habits so in the future will improve, the tools to do that are present in our daily life. I think the great impact is in interpersonal relations is not easy to perform virtual team building is completely different from human contact, for me the stronger relations were created in the army and why , because we face all problems as a cohesive team, helping each others, caring but with the proximity that implies, virtual teams will never be able to experience these feelings.

- The funny thing is the that conflicts have decreased substantially especially at the base of hierarchy, but this is easily explained by the lack of constant interaction, virtual promotes some kind of isolation but also avoid reactions without thinking too.

- To me the most negative factor is the absence of leaders, leadership is only remote and is much less present. At these times it was important for them to appear on the premises, protected of course, but giving a signal that they worry about those who have to risk every day going to the workplace. Leaders have to set an example.

Alexandre
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Mar 29, 2020 7:24 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Alexandre
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

Whether we like it or not (like it or not) we will have to learn to work and communicate remotely

Is productivity, in the near future, a topic left to everyone?
Mar 29, 2020 7:11 AM
Replying to Alexandre Costa
...
Dear Luís,

Until now i'm not confined yet, i still must go to the facilities of the company every day, but i can tell you that the number of persons in that facilities used to be 300 persons and now we are reduced to about 20, we have still work that implies the physical presence.

-At productivity level i think it decreased, but this should be temporary, because is a new way of working form many people they need time to adapt their habits and go back to previous productivity or increase.

- Communication after all is harder, face to face communication is always the best strategy, however again we are starting to adapting our habits so in the future will improve, the tools to do that are present in our daily life. I think the great impact is in interpersonal relations is not easy to perform virtual team building is completely different from human contact, for me the stronger relations were created in the army and why , because we face all problems as a cohesive team, helping each others, caring but with the proximity that implies, virtual teams will never be able to experience these feelings.

- The funny thing is the that conflicts have decreased substantially especially at the base of hierarchy, but this is easily explained by the lack of constant interaction, virtual promotes some kind of isolation but also avoid reactions without thinking too.

- To me the most negative factor is the absence of leaders, leadership is only remote and is much less present. At these times it was important for them to appear on the premises, protected of course, but giving a signal that they worry about those who have to risk every day going to the workplace. Leaders have to set an example.

Alexandre
Dear Alexandre
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

Whether we like it or not (like it or not) we will have to learn to work and communicate remotely

Is productivity, in the near future, a topic left to everyone?
Luis -

Shifting from in-person to virtual teaming will create short term productivity impacts and will require the team to adjust their ways of working including their ground rules/working agreements for dealing with things like conflict.

The bigger conflict I'd be concerned about is for folks who are now having to spend much more time together than they are used to with their kids and spouses :-)

Kiron
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Mar 29, 2020 9:35 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Kiron
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

Interesting what you wrote: "The biggest conflict I'd be concerned about is for folks who are now having to spend much more time together than they are used to with their kids and spouses"

Will it have implications for productivity?
And in the relationship with the other team members?
Mar 29, 2020 9:07 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Luis -

Shifting from in-person to virtual teaming will create short term productivity impacts and will require the team to adjust their ways of working including their ground rules/working agreements for dealing with things like conflict.

The bigger conflict I'd be concerned about is for folks who are now having to spend much more time together than they are used to with their kids and spouses :-)

Kiron
Dear Kiron
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

Interesting what you wrote: "The biggest conflict I'd be concerned about is for folks who are now having to spend much more time together than they are used to with their kids and spouses"

Will it have implications for productivity?
And in the relationship with the other team members?
...
1 reply by Kiron Bondale
Mar 29, 2020 11:56 AM
Kiron Bondale
...
It absolutely can affect productivity and team interactions. In households where they only have limited Internet access, telling the (younger) kids to not go online during working days will only work for so long. Where both parents are working, the tablet or device might be a surrogate parent during such times.

We've all seen that humorous interview where the child's caregiver runs in and drags out the toddler from the viewing area of the interviewee's camera - that is a very real risk for many of us.

Case in point - I'm teaching a course in a week's time on the very same day that my (university going) kid is taking an online exam for one of his courses. Who gets precedence if there is an Internet bandwidth issue? I have paying customers for my course, but it is his graduation marks on the line...

As I said, working agreements will have to be revised...
Our work environment as it is today, rightly or wrongly,is the result of management evolution - trial and error over time affected by technological advancement and social interaction. Now we have had a drastic change in a short period of time driven by external forces. This will and has upset the established system. As with everything, when a shock is applied there are significant disturbances (waves) emanating from the epicenter.which will only stabilize with time.

There are a number of reactions: 1) in the short term people will pull together towards a common objective - you get great cooperation, everyone pitches in. Much like an accident scene. 2) Quickly the immediate danger and common objective dissipates and people start thinking what it means for themselves and get more selfish with their reactions. How can I look after my interests, my family? 3) As the danger/disruption subsides we get back to mostly normal but the effect of the disturbance stays with us a while and everyone adjusts a little bit - the evolution continues.

I see this process with the current pandemic. We pull together followed by personal considerations and finally a slight evolutionary adjustment in our lives.

Same applied to teams. Short-term reactions, medium-term adjustments and long-term settlement.

Careful with making long-term predictions on short-term reactions/observations.
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Mar 29, 2020 10:50 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Peter
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

Interesting what you wrote: "As with everything, when a shock is applied there are significant disturbances (waves) emanating from the epicenter"

How is it going this period of adaptation to the level of productivity and in the domain of interpersonal relationships?
Dear Luis,

I am personal finding this almost self confinement can be very claustrophobic and not a long term sustainable alternative to working in an office or a workspace that is not located at home or primary residence.

Having remotely worked one or two days every few months before and using it as a work office during periods of subcontracting I find that long term I do not see it as an equal and better alternative.

Also there still needs to be workspace for team meetings face to face and hotel lobby's and coffee shops are not a professional environment to conduct business.

Also working on you own does not imbue a team work environment and when you are not located near or by your project team then other issues may crop up.

Daire
...
2 replies by Daire Guiney and Luis Branco
Mar 29, 2020 10:54 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Daire
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

How is this situation of confinement being in the field of interpersonal relations and productivity?
Mar 29, 2020 2:02 PM
Daire Guiney
...
Dear Luis,

As for interpersonal relations and productivity, I find a change of scenery does improve productivity but having a routine that takes you away from you home in a way that tells you here to work and to act professionally is important for me.

I find I need a clear demarcation line between work life and home life and when these two worlds merge for any extended time period things can get blurred, standards can drop and complacency and lack of interest can creep in to my work life.

Balancing both worlds in the same location can be difficult and I do not see it as a way to increase productivity amongsts workers.

I would say theoretically office based workers could work from home but in reality it is not as straight forward as it seems. There is a lot to be said and gained by being located in a office location.

Daire
Mar 29, 2020 10:10 AM
Replying to Peter Rapin
...
Our work environment as it is today, rightly or wrongly,is the result of management evolution - trial and error over time affected by technological advancement and social interaction. Now we have had a drastic change in a short period of time driven by external forces. This will and has upset the established system. As with everything, when a shock is applied there are significant disturbances (waves) emanating from the epicenter.which will only stabilize with time.

There are a number of reactions: 1) in the short term people will pull together towards a common objective - you get great cooperation, everyone pitches in. Much like an accident scene. 2) Quickly the immediate danger and common objective dissipates and people start thinking what it means for themselves and get more selfish with their reactions. How can I look after my interests, my family? 3) As the danger/disruption subsides we get back to mostly normal but the effect of the disturbance stays with us a while and everyone adjusts a little bit - the evolution continues.

I see this process with the current pandemic. We pull together followed by personal considerations and finally a slight evolutionary adjustment in our lives.

Same applied to teams. Short-term reactions, medium-term adjustments and long-term settlement.

Careful with making long-term predictions on short-term reactions/observations.
Dear Peter
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

Interesting what you wrote: "As with everything, when a shock is applied there are significant disturbances (waves) emanating from the epicenter"

How is it going this period of adaptation to the level of productivity and in the domain of interpersonal relationships?
...
1 reply by Peter Rapin
Mar 29, 2020 12:04 PM
Peter Rapin
...
Hard to predict. In the long term - a year maybe two - very little change in our work and social habits. The younger generation is already social distancing with the use of smart phones, texting rather than starting relationships with those in proximity. Maybe this event will encourage that but I believe that humans are essentially a social animal and we'll get back to near-normal. In the short term total production will decrease however productivity may spike as people extend themselves to make up for absence of others. The novelty of individual effort will provide for temporary motivation.

Confinement is a relative term. We may be physically confined but modern technology still allows social contact. Once physical social separation is no longer required there will be a rush to re-establish the physical contact and this may lead to a secondary motivation and productivity peak

An interesting time we are living in. The studies focused on behavior before, during and after the current event will continue for decades. We have recovered (mostly) from wars, famine, pestilence, pandemics in the past - with little lessons learned - and we will do so again with the same results.
Mar 29, 2020 10:30 AM
Replying to Daire Guiney
...
Dear Luis,

I am personal finding this almost self confinement can be very claustrophobic and not a long term sustainable alternative to working in an office or a workspace that is not located at home or primary residence.

Having remotely worked one or two days every few months before and using it as a work office during periods of subcontracting I find that long term I do not see it as an equal and better alternative.

Also there still needs to be workspace for team meetings face to face and hotel lobby's and coffee shops are not a professional environment to conduct business.

Also working on you own does not imbue a team work environment and when you are not located near or by your project team then other issues may crop up.

Daire
Dear Daire
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

How is this situation of confinement being in the field of interpersonal relations and productivity?
Mar 29, 2020 9:35 AM
Replying to Luis Branco
...
Dear Kiron
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

Interesting what you wrote: "The biggest conflict I'd be concerned about is for folks who are now having to spend much more time together than they are used to with their kids and spouses"

Will it have implications for productivity?
And in the relationship with the other team members?
It absolutely can affect productivity and team interactions. In households where they only have limited Internet access, telling the (younger) kids to not go online during working days will only work for so long. Where both parents are working, the tablet or device might be a surrogate parent during such times.

We've all seen that humorous interview where the child's caregiver runs in and drags out the toddler from the viewing area of the interviewee's camera - that is a very real risk for many of us.

Case in point - I'm teaching a course in a week's time on the very same day that my (university going) kid is taking an online exam for one of his courses. Who gets precedence if there is an Internet bandwidth issue? I have paying customers for my course, but it is his graduation marks on the line...

As I said, working agreements will have to be revised...
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Mar 30, 2020 4:16 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Kiron
Thank you for sharing your opinion with us

I don't know what internet access solutions exist in Canada and / or the options you chose

In addition to the connection via fiber I have wifi throughout the house.
I now checked the speed = Mbps

Multiple computers can have access to the internet at the same time
Mar 29, 2020 10:50 AM
Replying to Luis Branco
...
Dear Peter
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

Interesting what you wrote: "As with everything, when a shock is applied there are significant disturbances (waves) emanating from the epicenter"

How is it going this period of adaptation to the level of productivity and in the domain of interpersonal relationships?
Hard to predict. In the long term - a year maybe two - very little change in our work and social habits. The younger generation is already social distancing with the use of smart phones, texting rather than starting relationships with those in proximity. Maybe this event will encourage that but I believe that humans are essentially a social animal and we'll get back to near-normal. In the short term total production will decrease however productivity may spike as people extend themselves to make up for absence of others. The novelty of individual effort will provide for temporary motivation.

Confinement is a relative term. We may be physically confined but modern technology still allows social contact. Once physical social separation is no longer required there will be a rush to re-establish the physical contact and this may lead to a secondary motivation and productivity peak

An interesting time we are living in. The studies focused on behavior before, during and after the current event will continue for decades. We have recovered (mostly) from wars, famine, pestilence, pandemics in the past - with little lessons learned - and we will do so again with the same results.
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Mar 30, 2020 4:28 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Peter
Thank you for sharing your opinion with us

Interesting what you wrote: "An interesting time we are living in. The studies focused on behavior before, during and after the current event will continue for decades"
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