Teamwork is undeniably important when it comes to being successful in the life sciences sector. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations were moving towards a more agile way of working. Technology was starting to be used to connect people around the world so that talented life science professionals could collaborate. This was still in its infancy for most areas before the pandemic, with the changing world forcing organizations to become more agile and allow for remote working almost overnight.
Remote Teams are Becoming the Default
One of the biggest changes to the way people have been working in life sciences is that teams have become separated. People have needed to work within the guidelines for social distancing and remote working has become the norm for many people.
Remote working manifests itself in different ways and includes working from home for much of the working day, being placed into smaller team groups or reducing the amount of time spent in the company of others by holding virtual meetings and sharing more work through digital channels. Ultimately, the more we get used to working remotely, the more creative we need to become to meet all workload tasks.
Managing a Dispersed Workforce
Remote working brings many challenges, and this is particularly true for mangers or executives who need to ensure teams work effectively and maintain positive team culture, even when teammates aren’t spending time together.
A dispersed workforce can quickly become a demotivated team, which can lead to people being unhappy in their roles, or even leaving to work for a competitor. As an executive it is likely to fall to you to ensure this does not happen.
Bring Fun to Remote Working
It’s difficult to bring a team together when some people are working remotely and others are in the office. However, if you think about the things that you used to do as a team in the office for fun, you can replicate these. If you usually have cake and sing to someone on their birthday, why not send team members a cake in the post and have a Zoom catch up just for singing and enjoying cake together?
If you often go out as a team after work, arrange to have ‘after work drinks’ virtually. Or if you usually have lunch together, make sure you continue doing these things. People can enjoy a drink or lunch while chatting to colleagues over Zoom. It won’t be the same, but it will bring the team together.
Focus on the Purpose and Potential
When teams are working remotely, or in a hybrid way, it can be easy for team members to lose sight of the purpose of their work. This is another way that people become demotivated or demoralized quite quickly. When working together, people talk and share aspects of their jobs, meaning that everyone has an insight into the bigger picture. When working remotely, you may need to instigate more regular virtual catch ups so that people have the chance to share what they are doing.
Giving people the opportunity to chat about their work and hear about colleagues’ work will help to ensure employees remain motivated and focused on the purpose of what they are doing. This will also mean that employees can realize their potential by finding out about other opportunities to progress.
Good Morale Achieves a Productive Solution
Maintaining a happy and productive team can be more difficult in the current pandemic climate. However, remote working and hybrid teams are set to stay for the foreseeable future and so implementing ideas now is only going to making working in the future more effective and efficient.