photo of a father working on a computer with a toddler next to him. A cat is laying in front of the computer playing with a pencil. Photo is to illustrate remote work.

Noticing Employees in the Remote Age

Diamond Media Solutions is just one week away from the 1st anniversary of the “15 days to flatten then curve” remote working experiment, and what an enlightening year it has been.  Sure, there are enormous benefits for the employees and business owners working remotely, but not everyone does well in that environment.  Even if we completely ignore the mental health stressors unique to a global pandemic and the economic impact of COVID, the transition from working in an office to the isolation of remote is challenging even for fellow introverts like myself.  Although I joke that I was made for social distancing and was one of the earliest adopters of delivery grocery services and Uber Eats, lacking face-to-face human interaction makes managing the emotions and positive momentum of a team difficult.

Subtle differences in a person’s demeanor provide clues to what someone may be going through but trying to hide from others.  When we were in the office, noticing someone’s changing body language was easy, but with remote working, it isn’t as easy to spot.   

Using technologies such as Slack and Go-To Meeting has been important for all businesses to maintain communication and collaboration. Still, we find these technologies provide so much more value to us on our team’s overall mental and physical health, like who is or isn’t responding to our daily BuzzFeed quiz or how someone looks during our morning stand-up.  These simple cues are some of the ways we are staying connected and, most importantly see when someone needs a little help.  

A private slack message telling someone to shut down their laptop and take at least a 30-minute walk when their stress level is at a ten or to grab some ice and lay down for a nap when the stress headache turns into a migraine is all it takes to do something special to make sure your team knows they matter.  These subtle differences in how we respond have made the most significant impact here at Diamond Media Solutions during this strange time. Still, it has also been a wonderful growing experience for my entire team.  Not only has everyone taken on more ownership over their position, but they are finding time for personal development, work-life balance, and better at self-identifying when we need more help and asking for help.

Jayme Hill is Chief Operating Officer for Diamond Media Solutions.

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