Today we published a report called "Leading Distributed Teams". The report is the output of a behavioural research project did in April 2020. We wanted to learn how working as distributed teams affect team behaviour in terms of productivity, creativity and wellbeing. From a scientific point of view, the COVID-19 crisis is a god gift. It's nothing more than a gigantic A/B test that offers us a unique opportunity to learn how office-work and home-work have an impact on team behaviour.
The Corona-Crisis provides us with a unique learning opportunity for designing the ultimate gratifying work while at the same time having the perfect work-life balance.This report offers a deep understanding of how working in distributed teams contributes to this outcome. More importantly, it gives managers and leaders lots of practical insights into how they can coach their team to benefit the most from distributed working.
If there's one thing you should take out of this report
The essential idea from the report is that if you want to understand team behaviour, you need to take the human behind the professional or manager as your point of departure. If you want to understand the humans in professional teams, you need to understand their deeper needs and desires they wish to see fulfilled, and their more deep-seated fears and anxieties they want to be tackled.
That's why the question "Is working from home better than working in the office?" is not the right question. It's much more interesting to turn this question outside-in and ask ourselves:
How might 'working from home' or 'working in the office' help people to
- be more successful in achieving their goals
- overcome bad habits like being distracted
- take away fears and uncertainty about their performance?
The answer to this question can pave the path to a very near future in which we can experience the joy of being part of a high-performance team while having more than enough time left to pursue our personal goals. Instead of wasting too much time in our lives on traffic-jams, pointless meetings, highly distracting office spaces and patronising managers.
What you will learn in the report?
The big challenge for the managers and leaders who need to manage their teams will be to promote the positive behaviours that contribute to high-performance output and wellbeing while suppressing the behaviours and habits that stand in the way of achieving these outcomes.
This research paper will give you a deep understanding of:
- The behavioural forces that make or break team success
- How offices both promote and kill high-performance team behaviour
- How working from home solves some negative office dynamics
- How working from home create new challenges that need to be solved
- How managers can lead distributed teams successfully