Expert Pitch
University at Buffalo

Experts: Social distancing means work teams go virtual — 5 keys to success

31-Mar-2020 1:30 PM EDT, by University at Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. — As more states mandate that nonessential employees stay home to slow the spread of COVID-19, many leaders and teams are navigating the complexities of remote work for the first time.

Leadership experts from the University at Buffalo School of Management say the key to successfully managing this transition is maintaining open communication, setting clear and consistent goals, and giving your team a little grace.

Faculty members Kate Bezrukova and Timothy Maynes offer the tips below for leading remote teams effectively — during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

Additional UB faculty experts who can provide insight on COVID-19 and its societal effects: www.buffalo.edu/news/faculty-experts/covid-19.html.

Communicate clearly. Nonverbal communication is critical to team chemistry, according to Bezrukova, PhD, associate professor of organization and human resources in the UB School of Management, who studies teams in business and sports.

“When teams go remote, messages can get easily misunderstood and empathy is hard to maintain — these are things leaders need to manage,” she says. “Leaders should be as clear as possible when they communicate tasks, goals and deadlines. Funny and warm messages are effective to raise team spirit as well.”

Maintain trust. Without in-person interaction, building trust among team members can be difficult.

“On virtual teams, research shows that performance becomes more important for trust than interpersonal interactions,” says Maynes, PhD, associate professor of organization and human resources in the UB School of Management.

“Virtual team leaders should reinforce timeliness and consistency of performance, develop mutual expectations for rapid responses, and establish norms for when team members are expected to be ‘online’ to avoid work-related burnout,” Maynes says.

Organize and prioritize. For remote leaders, organization is paramount to ensure team members understand their assignments and expectations, Bezrukova says.

“Prioritize projects and help others align their priorities by having a vision that goes beyond just one day,” Bezrukova says. “Any randomness in your decisions will make people wonder if you are competent in your job. Having a plan will help to overcome this.”

Check in regularly. One solution to track goals and progress, Maynes says, is to host daily video conferences.

“One strength of remote teams is that virtual meetings are up to 55% shorter than face-to-face meetings because they tend to be more task-focused, which facilitates problem-solving,” Maynes says.

Another silver lining of working from home is that remote teams tend to develop more creative and innovative ideas than traditional office teams, according to Maynes.

“To reap that particular benefit,” he says, “virtual teams should brainstorm ideas through a written medium, such as email, to minimize the influence of interpersonal processes that cause people to conform to the expectations of others.”

Show compassion. In this unprecedented and stressful situation, employees are dealing with far more than work-related pressures. Whenever possible, be understanding with your team’s “new normal,” Bezrukova advises.

“People may have kids at home and are managing a lot, so communicate that you understand their challenges,” Bezrukova says. “Bring some light and positivity by sharing funny stories or YouTube clips. Just show your team that you care about them.”

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit mgt.buffalo.edu.




Filters close

Showing results

110 of 5636
Released: 13-May-2021 7:05 PM EDT
FLCCC Statement on the Irregular Actions of Public Health Agencies & the Disinformation Campaign Against Ivermectin
Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC Alliance)

FLCCC Alliance calls for whistleblower to step forward from within WHO, the FDA, the NIH, Merck, or Unitaid to counter this misrepresentation

Newswise: shutterstock_1724336896.jpg
Released: 13-May-2021 12:55 PM EDT
Kreuter receives $1.9 million in grants to increase vaccinations in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis

Matthew Kreuter, the Kahn Family Professor of Public Health at the Brown School, has received $1.9 million in grants to help increase COVID-19 vaccinations among Blacks in St. Louis City and County.

Released: 13-May-2021 11:35 AM EDT
COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines are Immunogenic in Pregnant and Lactating Women, Including Against Viral Variants
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

In a new study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center researchers evaluated the immunogenicity of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in pregnant and lactating women who received either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. They found that both vaccines triggered immune responses in pregnant and lactating women.

Released: 13-May-2021 10:30 AM EDT
Pandemic stigma: Foreigners, doctors wrongly targeted for COVID-19 spread in India
Monash University

The Indian public blamed foreigners, minority groups and doctors for the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the country during the first wave, due to misinformation, rumour and long-held discriminatory beliefs, according to an international study led by Monash University.

Released: 13-May-2021 9:15 AM EDT
28 Community Programs Receive Grants Through Penn Medicine CAREs Program
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Penn Medicine CAREs awarded grants to 28 projects, many of which aim to fill vast needs in the community created by the COVID-19 pandemic, while others seek to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Released: 13-May-2021 9:00 AM EDT
How to Win Over Vaccine Skeptics: Live Expert Panel for May 20, 3pm ET
Newswise

How to Win Over Vaccine Skeptics: Live Expert Panel for May 20, 3pm ET

Released: 13-May-2021 8:00 AM EDT
Dental procedures during pandemic are no riskier than a drink of water
Ohio State University

A new study’s findings dispel the misconception that patients and providers are at high risk of catching COVID-19 at the dentist’s office.

Newswise:Video Embedded lung-damage-not-the-culprit-for-post-covid-exercise-limitations
VIDEO
Released: 13-May-2021 7:00 AM EDT
Lung Damage Not the Culprit for Post-COVID Exercise Limitations
American Physiological Society (APS)

A new study suggests the lungs may not be the main factor that reduce exercise ability in people recovering from severe COVID-19. Anemia and muscle dysfunction also play a role. The study is published ahead of print in the Journal of Applied Physiology. It was chosen as an APSselect article for May.


Showing results

110 of 5636

close
1.28981