Spilling the “T” on Remote Work Success

BY Syretta Williams
11/19/2020 - HVAC Employment , COVID-19
Key Takeaways:
  • Working remotely requires trust
  • Remote work and working from home are not the same thing
  • Keep your teams motivated by investing in their development

According to Urban Dictionary, when someone wants to “spill the ‘tea’ or ‘T’” with you, you should lean in! Chances are, you about to learn something juicy…they are going to put the “T” in “truth” around whatever the subject matter is being discussed from the mundane to the extraordinary.

So! Let’s chat, because I want to share this special “T” with you around working remotely and doing it successfully. This is a juicy topic on everyone’s lips. As the world continues to brace itself on the cusp of another wave of COVID-19, the need to work remote and do it well, is more apparent to organizations and leadership than ever before.

Think about it, when you used to hear the words “working remote” or “working from home” did you get the warm feels…probably not if you are being honest. You may have felt more like “OMG I don’t want any part of that AT ALL, it feels too risky for my business.” However, as I talk to more HARDI members this year, many of them say that it's admittedly not so bad and even regret doing not doing it sooner because their teams are actually working better and more productively than they were at the office.

So how can this be, what is their secret sauce, what’s the “T”?? Well the truth about it is, TRUST! The pandemic didn’t give us a lot of time go through analysis paralysis where leadership was able to laboriously crank out policies about working remotely. No! There was likely some communication on why organizations thought it was necessary to pivot working remotely, a gathering of items from the office, setting up of a home office space and then whip bam boom…we are working remotely and look at that, the sky didn’t fall henny penny. Now ask yourself, how much trust did I have to extend to my team, myself, technology, my family, my organization, to whatever that everything was going to be ok? Maybe not perfect but ok and that we would make it out the other side. Well it happened. Without that trust, working remotely would not be possible.

Recently, I ran across this post from ATD, Remote Work and Working From Home Aren’t the Same, and before I saw that headline, I, like many others, did think they meant the same thing but it’s not true. As the article mentions, remote work means that organizations must adhere to a method. So, ask yourself as you may be forced on sending your employees back home to continue working remotely for the rest of the year if not longer, what is my current method to support their success? What worked when we first tried this and what lessons did we learn? On a scale from 1 to 10, what is our trust factor and what can I do to increase it and help my employees stay engaged to be their most productive selves? Do I have the right methods to help manage workloads and accountability?

If these questions leave you scratching your head, that is ok. Now that the “T” has been spilled, you can do something about it. Although working from home and working remote are not the same, they both warrant some of the same considerations for successful management. In a recent blog from eCruit Sales called 5 work from home policies you need to hear about ... here is where you can start to examine and think through these questions to help you come out of this situation more successfully:

  1. Check on your staff! You see there goes that trust factor again, I promise you, it is at the root of success. Build trusting relationships with your staff to understand how they are doing and what adjustments need to be made is critical. Make sure that they have what they need from communication, equipment and PTO to continue to show up for you.
  2. Double-stacked flexi-time. This is crucial since not only is work being juggled at home but so is school, repairs, project, sports commitments…LIFE, so allowing your staff to work at their “most productive” time vs 9am-5pm could really prove to work in your favor (and builds trust!).
  3. Self-assessed productivity means ensuring that you have given your employees the power to know that they have the authority over their own productivity and show they will measure it…no micromanaging allowed.
  4. Upskilling program – did you think I would forget about training…NOT! I was thrilled to see this in this blog. Training and development are crucial during this time because the job market has tons of opportunities out there just waiting to steal your employees away during this time of year. What better way to show them you want them to stay than investing in their development, which ultimately makes them better overall.

    As you think about 2021, where have you budgeted for Leadership Development, or upskilling programs??? HARDI has the solutions to challenges, talk to me so I can spill some more “T” on that.
  5. Promoting good mental well-being and socials are a great way for your team to unplug both alone and “together” to continue nurturing individual stability as well as continued team bonding.

Hopefully this gave you enough juicy insight to triggering some additional thoughts on the remote work success and policies at your organization. If you want to chat further with me, I’m always a phone call away.


For additional assistance on this or other compliance, HR, or training and development matters be sure to seek assistance through HARDI’s HR Consulting Services or contact Syretta Williams.

Syretta-01Syretta Williams
Manager of Training & HR Solutions