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Advanced Workplace Institute

Online Workshop

Managing the Home-Based Community

Drawing on AWA’s 20 years’ experience and scientific research of managing virtual organizations, the second session provides you with everything you need to know about managing a home-based community.
AWA Advanced Workplace Associates: Cognitive Performance

Workshop Aims

  • The Management challenge of multiple ‘contexts’ and what to do
  • Personality and its influence on effective home working
  • Maintaining trust relationships while working away
  • Communication richness, conscientiousness and choice tools
  • Knowledge sharing, learning and virtual team members support
  • ‘Workership’ – new practices for working away
  • Managing mood and morale while everyone’s away
AWA Advanced Workplace Associates: Cognitive Fitness

The Issue

Many managers are comfortable managing their people when everyone is together in the office. When people start to work more of their time away from the home base, this can cause tension and issues within the team and between manager and team members. From our extensive research, we know that teams can suffer when they work more remotely from each other, and this is often because they have embarked upon a new way of working without fully understanding how different it would be, and therefore how to prepare for the difference.

To be effective, Teams need to focus on a number of aspects that generate good working relationships. When they work apart from each other, these factors still apply, but people need to think about doing things differently, so that their relationships don’t suffer from broken trust, silo behaviour, bias, poor communications and so on.

Fortunately, we know what it takes to safeguard team relationships when people aren’t together all the time. So if your team is working virtually as a consequence of the current health emergency (or for other reasons) then this session is for you. Full of great insights and practical tips you can put into action immediately.  

Event Summary

Workshop 2 in the Working AWAy series took participants into a deeper dive than the initial session. To see a summary of session 1, please click here.

The session lasted 90 minutes and participants were placed into interactive breakout rooms where they were able to discuss the key aspects that enable organisations to manage the home-based community effectively. Not only were they focused around topics that came from the Advanced Workplace Institutes scientific research, they were able to openly discuss how well they felt their organisations were doing.

There were two key takeaways from this session. Firstly, the research that AWI has undertaken revealed six key areas:

  • Communication Richness
  • Leadership & Workership
  • Task Coordination
  • Relationships
  • Personality
  • Trust

These six factors were identified in collaboration with the Centre for Evidence Based Management as being of primary importance when organisations need to work apart.

The second key takeaway was that out of these, the most important factor to be worked on was trust. We asked the question, “How can we build trust within our organisations when we are working remotely”.

During the workshop, participants came up with suggestions for how organisations could build trust while being home based working populations. One example was to be open with sharing mistakes. It was felt this would lead to a culture of honesty, integrity and allow the wider organisation to collectively learn faster.

For other suggestions, please see the session summary handout here.
Images of the word clouds created can be found within the downloadable summary handout here.

For further reading on the topic of working well at home, please read our Working Well at Home article.

The next workshop in the series will be looking at practical ways in which we can best work from home. For further information, or to register, please click here.

Our Contributors
Karen Plum - Advanced Workplace Associates - UK - USA - AWA - Workplace consultant

Director of Research and Development, AWA

Karen Plum is a senior workplace consultant responsible for our Research and Development activities.

In her consulting work Karen specialises in working as a senior coach with leaders, supporting them in creating the conditions to bring about strategic change in the way their people work. Karen is an expert in agile working, having helped countless organisations transition into new ways of working. She has worked with numerous organisations, helping to coordinate and construct more effective workplace strategies. Clients she has worked with include the Royal Bank of Scotland, Microsoft, Nationwide Building Society, Morgan Stanley, Lloyds Banking Group, Prostate Cancer UK and London & Partners.


Senior Associate, AWA

Anne is an experienced change management consultant and has worked with a wide array of municipalities, ministries and private companies (both small local and large global).

Anne advises top management in how they can utilise space as a strategic tool to ensure increased performance typically with regard to ensuring interdisciplinary cooperation and knowledge sharing; flexibility allowing for successive changes throughout the organisation; attraction and retention of talent; branding of the organisation, etc. while increasing staff satisfaction and reducing m2 use.

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