Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the number of people who have worked remotely because of concern about the coronavirus has risen by 46 percentage points according to the latest Gallup poll data. Sixty-two percent of employed Americans currently say they have worked from home during the crisis, a number that has doubled since mid-March. And while 59% of remote workers are confident they are successfully meeting their job requirements, employers are struggling to balance supporting remote workers with plans to reopen physical locations in preparation for a return to the office.
Today I’m joined by Dave Landa, CEO of Kintone Corporation, which provides a teamwork platform with a visual application builder that empowers individuals, teams, and organizations to effectively manage their data and workflow for better collaboration. Since 2004, Dave has been at the forefront of the cloud revolution, driving strategic business development on the executive teams of leading SaaS application providers.
What Does Work From Home Look Like Right Now?
Dave shares about how his company went all virtual early on in early March of this year. Kintone’s parent company is located in Japan so Dave and his leadership team had been following the pandemic early on. The company easily made the transition and plans to go remote on a permanent basis. Hear how he and his team accomplish this and the ways they are keeping engagement and their culture fresh.
While working from home is amazing, it is very easy to burn out. You, as an individual working in a new work situation are faced with new and different challenges that I know Dave and I often take for granted. I’ve been working virtually for the last 11 years and I often forget my early struggles to adjust to the virtual and remote work world early on. This is important to remember for your individual team members not to mention thinking about ways to keep your employees and teams engaged, connected, and excited about working whether it’s at home, in another location away from the office, or in other time zones. Personally, one of the biggest challenges I have found is finding ways to connect with my team members who are working 7-10 hours ahead of my own schedule.
I asked Dave what his secret is to leading a virtual team. At the heart of it he says, is trust. You have to trust that your team makes good decisions, holds themselves accountable, and will get the job done they have been asked to do. He is empowering his team to take ownership because right now we are really all in this together. Transparency from leadership is also really important. Dave says it’s not just business and leadership that needs to be transparent, employees need to feel comfortable to share their own challenges and seek out support when they need them. Everyone is going through their own personal struggles right now and as business leaders we need to encourage our employees to come forward if they are needing help whether it’s new equipment to do their jobs, schedule flexibility, or seeking out mental health professionals to lend a ear and help employees and their families talk with a professional about the difficulties they are facing. At the heart of all of this is a focus on communciation. You have to be intentional as a leader to connect, engage, and talk to your employees. Dave shares some of the fun activities that have been working with his team. For my team, we are sharing our favorite recipes. Since my team is global, I want them to share their cultures with us so we are featuring a favorite recipe once a month.
With such a large share of the U.S. workforce converting to remote work, HR and company leaders have to be skilled at engaging an off-site employee base. This means we have to build “people-first” policies that enable our remote workers to be productive, engaged, and educated on best practices for working from home – especially for employees who may be working remotely for the first time in their careers. A big thank you to Dave Landa for sharing his company’s experience with creating a successful 100% remote workforce.
Thank you for joining the Workology Podcast sponsored by Workology. This podcast is for the disruptive workplace leader who’s tired of the status quo. This is Jessica Miller-Merrell. Until next time, visit Workology.com to listen to all our episodes of the Workology podcast.
Connect with Dave Landa on LinkedIn
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