In recent weeks, and most likely in the upcoming months, many organizations are finding themselves in the precarious situation of transitioning their entire staff to working remotely.
Many understand that a successful transition requires more than just making sure that their IT stack functions properly and staff can access the tools and data they need to do their jobs. Working well remotely also means working in a completely different context and collaborating in different ways.
Beyond a knowledge challenge, it’s a far greater behavioral challenge. 10 minutes of googling will turn up lots of good resources on how to work well remotely. But without creating the time and space for “meaning-making” much of their value will be lost. We need to think through “what does this mean for me, in my unique context?” and “how might I implement this piece of advice?” for their value to be realized.
I created a simple, remote-friendly, tool/exercise to help facilitate individual meaning-making reflection and peer dialogue around this challenging transition, and I’m making it publicly available below:
Remote Work Canvas — Instructions
- Fill in name + date, and choose a remote partner.
- Complete a first draft of the canvas, filling the columns in the following order:
- Transitioning to working remotely blurs the lines between the personal and the professional, so start by strengthening that boundary, filling the middle column first.
- Then “put your oxygen mask first” and ensure that you have a good personal care plan in place, by filling the middle-left column.
- Next, take care of your loved ones and address any outstanding personal items, by filling the far-left column.
- Transitioning to the professional, create your individual game plan, by filling the middle-right column.
- Finally, consider your team and the way this new setup will impact the way you work together, and address any outstanding professional items, by filling the far-right column.
- Review your canvas with your remote partner. Solicit feedback and advice on boxes that were more challenging, and make any necessary changes based on the conversation.
- Set up a date and time a few weeks out with your remote partner to reflect on your lived experience and make any changes to the canvas accordingly.
- Share your canvas with your team, and invite them to create their own versions.