There’s that classic saying “out of sight, out of mind” and it’s something I’ve become acutely aware of over lockdown. Even in a team-driven environment, such as Kyocera, working from home has a tendency to make a person withdraw into themselves and forget to include or communicate with teammates when it comes to simple problem solving or decision making.
In practice, it’s as simple as forgetting to include certain people in key work situations, or sending harsher feedback via email, than you might face to face. We can’t deny the impact of lockdown on our personal and business lives, so I think it’s important that we reflect on the Kyocera principle of Do Our Best for Our Colleagues. “By working hard for our colleagues, trusting each other and forming close working relationships, we can build an unbeatable work group.”
The culture of our company – to consider others and work together for greater gains – has never been more necessary than it is now. People matter, so how do we ensure that we always include everyone?
These five habits offer a healthy framework to implement during lockdown and beyond it:
Set expectations, get feedback
Establish a rule that distance bias needs to be prevented and encourage feedback from your team on how this can be achieved. Implement the results.
It’s easy to see bias in others, but we often don’t recognise it in ourselves. We need to become comfortable with talking about bias and to act on it when others make us aware of our own bias.
Have video calls
As much as we don’t want to spend half our time on meetings, regular video calls are a good way of ensuring collaboration, and “keeping in touch” maintains a positive work environment.
Encourage inter-group activity
In line with our philosophy, it’s important to interact with people from groups. Some of our best ideas come from unexpected interactions, so make time to interact with other teams.
Experiment and get feedback
There’s no set formula for breaking down distance bias, so it’s important to try out different things. The most important thing is to raise awareness, create some measurable goals as a team and get feedback to constantly tweak your actions.
If we can go through times of stress and pain, whilst knowing that “this-too-shall-pass”, then we have Hope. Psychological survivors have hope, look to the future, persevere and ask "How can I help myself?"