During this season where the Cornerstone team cannot work from the same office we have been considering how we ensure that the benefits of physical proximity are not lost in our new virtual work environment.
First of all we are taking it for granted that the online setup is good, with an ability to conduct effective online team meetings, share documents, allocate tasks and basically get stuff done. Most organisations have IT systems in place to allow individuals to work remotely. Cornerstone is no different, it fortunately had invested in putting good systems and a positive culture in place around how it uses technology and cloud-based solutions.
However, we had been using those systems in the most part in our physical office and spent at least 2 days a week in the office together.
As those physical interactions have now been eliminated completely we identified what we were missing in our new remote working situations.
Camaraderie & Vulnerability
The physical office created opportunities for two key things that are essential for a positive working experience.
Camaraderie: In the office there are opportunities to chat throughout the day. Catching up on news, laughing together, sharing updates on family life and knowing what’s going on at work. Those interactions are essential to maintain positive relationships within a team.
The solution: Virtual Catch Ups – Twice a week Cornerstone spend the first 30 mins of the day chatting with each other, sharing work related updates and encouraging each other. Having that intentional time has been brilliant and something we will continue after this season.
Vulnerability: It’s essential within a business that team members are able to share challenges with each other. In person these issues can be mentioned as situations arise, or our colleagues can see how our mood and mannerisms have shifted and they can ask.
The solution: Daily Celebration / Challenge Update: As a team we share a celebration and challenge with each other every day. This routine has allowed us to share the issue that has been challenging us most as they arise. The team has been remarkably candid, more so than we would have been in the office. This has allowed us to support each other better and to be accountable around the issues that are difficult.
These two small, simple ideas have been really powerful for Cornerstone and we hope they may be valuable for you as well!
Lauren is passionate about seeing the regeneration of cities which also has positive impact in building and restoring communities. She loves to create and design spaces that promote quality of life and are focused on the end user and their everyday lifestyle.
Cornerstone construction specialise in creating bespoke and environmentally friendly homes, unique development sites and commercial projects.
Cornerstone NI Ltd, Innovation Factory, 385 Springfield Road, Belfast, BT12 7DG