The office is more than just a building: it’s a place where we carry out the rituals, and tell the stories, that hold the social structure of our tribes together. As we move to work remotely, how will we manage to remain together, whilst being forced apart, and what is the cost if we fail? With the imposed shift to remote working, i am running a series of three linked Webinars for newly remote teams, exploring three aspects of this change, with practical strategies to survive and thrive. In this piece i will share the design of the third session, ‘Finding Your Campfire’, which is about being ‘Together Apart’.
Joining an Organisation is about more than just signing a contract: in the first hours, days, weeks, we join a local tribe, we form bonds of trust, based upon shared experience, generosity, and sharing, which become our most important social units at work. We will start by considering what ‘membership’ of an Organisation or Community means, and how we will help people to ‘belong’ when we are apart.
Communities use many rituals, which are patterns of behaviour with socially imbued value: as we move to online, we may need new rituals, because some of the ones from the real world do not translate. Especially when we lack video, how will we ensure that communication does not crash?
Our colleagues at work do not just fill seats and take up space: they help us to make sense of the world of work, to solve problems, and to maintain momentum. We do this through conversation in informal spaces, and through different levels of storytelling: stories of uncertainty and doubt, stories of challenge, stories of unity, stories of dissent. Where, and how, will we make these stories when we are apart? We will consider the role of diversified technology, and the barriers to this activity.
Finally, one thing that easily gets fractured when we are apart is trust: the trust of our leaders, the trust in each other, the trust we have in ourselves. The final part of this session will be about how we grow and hold trust, and how we thrive being together, apart.
Next week [W/C 23rd March] the three webinars will run on GMT. The following week i will shortly publish a schedule on EST, then the third week back to GMT, and the fourth week Pacific time. If there is demand, i will run Asian times too.
You can register for Webinar One [Foundations of Remote Working] here.
You can register for Webinar Two [Building Virtual Teams] here.
You can register for Webinar Three [Finding Your Campfire] here.