Business leaders across many industries have been riding the roller coaster of the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies, tradition- ally operating in offices, shifted to employees’ homes with little notice. While our technology infrastructure allowed this to happen with relative ease, the toll on our interpersonal skills may fall under the radar. As business leaders, we need to make a conscious effort to lead our teams in both the current and future business landscapes.
As you carry out plans to return to the office, recognize things will never be the same, and no one knows what the landscape will be like in the short and long term. We are likely to see staggered teams for a prolonged period, with groups of employees alternating in-office work schedules. We must balance these teams to allow people the resources they need when physically in the office while including those who are not.
Although there are numerous benefits to working together in the office, employers and employees have seen great success working remotely, which begs the question of whether extended remote working will continue as “the new normal” after the pandemic. Here are a few ideas to promote employee engagement while working remotely.
PRACTICE EMPATHY. Our personal lives are interacting with our work lives now more than ever, but without informal “water-cooler talk” it is easy to miss cues regarding our employees. We need to listen and understand the struggles our employees face in their new environments and propose solutions. People may not be able to work the typical 9 to 5 while parenting, homeschooling and getting their work done, so their work day may be broken into multiple segments. While not ideal, many workers face this reality, and keeping open lines of communication is key to making it work.
HOST VIRTUAL EVENTS AND MEETINGS. Due to social distancing guidelines and ensuing concerns, large meetings are unlikely to occur in the near future. That, coupled with staggered schedules, will continue the ongoing need for virtual meetings. Many people are reluctant to speak up in large virtual meetings, so smaller groups of five to six employees can prove a more engaging supplement, allowing everyone to have a voice. Groups can meet for coffee, lunch or happy hour based on common interests or be randomly selected with a few conversation starters to kick things off.
COMMUNICATE PROJECT STATUS. Understanding the status of work is critical in a remote or staggered work environment. As people work irregular schedules, emails or phone calls may go unanswered for extended periods, making it more important than ever for teams to communicate the status of work. Project management apps allow multiple users to document work status and see progress. When used in conjunction with regularly scheduled meetings, they can give the entire team peace of mind about current project status and next steps and allow people to provide input and suggestions for improvement.
Ideas can come from anywhere. Encourage employees to speak up about their needs and ideas for engagement. Talk to external contacts about how they keep employees engaged. Talk to children about how their teachers keep classes engaged. We are all in this together, so anything that maintains our sense of community is a win.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
The holidays are right around the corner and it's time to start thinking about gifts for your wine-loving friends. If you or someone you know is planning an upcoming trip to a wine region, check out Argaux. The all-women-operated and -owned online wine shop and educational platform offers a series of tasting sets to celebrate and introduce some of the best wine destinations. The Gaux-To Tasting Sets are perfect for travelers to experience the wine before they travel — or without having to travel.
The Red Sea Development Company recently finalized its utilities deal with a consortium led by ACWA Power for The Red Sea Project, setting the development as the largest tourism project in the world set to be powered solely by renewable energy.
This holiday season, escape to the Caribbean with Celebrity Cruises and reconnect with family and friends in luxurious accommodations that make you feel right at home. Savor globally inspired cuisine designed by our Michelin-starred chef, paired with the most awarded wine collection at sea. Elevate “me time” with a soothing spa treatment sure to renew. With both long and short cruises to celebrate in December, and even three special Ultimate Holiday Cruises that sail over Christmas and into the New Year, the time to gift an experience and create unforgettable memories is now. Celebrity Cruises’ Always IncludedSM pricing — drinks, WiFi and tips — ensures a seamless, carefree vacation with the ones you love.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises offers the chance to get up to $5,000 off per person on a 2022 sailing if booked by Nov. 30 as part of a Black Friday deal. This offer is valid on bookings made through Nov. 30 on cruises in 2022. Additionally, this deal can be combined with any publicly available promotion and standard River Heritage Club membership savings or benefits.
Peru-based hotel brand Inkaterra was named the first-ever “climate-positive” hotel brand in the world by GreenInitiative. Climate-positive can be defined as “any activity that furthers the achievement of net zero carbon emissions, providing an environmental benefit by removing additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.” Endorsed by the United Nations, GreenInitiative announced Inkaterra Hotels’ achievement upon measuring the company’s carbon footprint and offset.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
Premiere luxury resort L’Auberge de Sedona debuts the Home for the Holidays experience to go with the resort’s holiday celebrations. Guests are invited to join in the festivities this year amid Arizona’s beautiful natural features like Oak Creek and Red Rocks.