Dealing with WFH, with Nico Appel

Posted By on Jun 9, 2020 in Events | 0 comments

Dear Members and Advisers, I am pleased to invite you to our first Zoom meeting.

Please note you do NOT need to download Zoom to attend. Just click on the link. The meeting is NOT recorded, nor should it be by attendees.

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Dear Members and Guests,

Work From Home sounds peaceful and simple. It usually is, but less so during the worst economic and social shock we have seen in at least a decade. CEOs are in a war-like situation, where they must act fast and accurately, but without fully understanding the environment or having all the resources.

To help remedy this, we have brought in two highly qualified speakers:

Nico Appel and Chris Kirkland both run successful online businesses and have been dealing with the practical aspects of WFH for many years. On this call, they will help reimagine a style of work which is very different to what you are used to, and thus very challenging – especially if it goes beyond a few weeks.

Nico, who has worked in Japan, the US and Europe, will explain how you need to avoid a generic response. Experience has shown him that every company will have a slightly different calibration in terms of how many days in the office versus at home, how to equip the home office, the legal liabilities, the impact of the the regulator, and the remote routines you will set up.

At a recent DN lunch, for example, one tech CEO mentioned that her team were strongly resistant to being micro-managed, perhaps something to do with the more individualistic nature of tech workers.

Another members warned about different management cultures. He advised abandoning the Western top down approach in favour of allowing the Japanese teams to organize themselves. In his experience, they did this quickly and efficiently, with little input from him. Another member said this was the time to figure out who in your team is the ‘extender’, his word for the person who steps up and becomes your right-hand woman, even if she does not have the formal title.

Yet another member stressed the importance of getting help to his team quickly, even if it meant putting pressure on HQ for extras resources. He believes in giving full trust to his staff. He also pointed out that Japanese staff may be be highly stressed by a chaotic working environment, in which long established processes have to be thrown out.

Leadership will also be discussed. Today’s generation of leaders is used to leading by example and personal engagement: voice, eye contact, physical impression. But these cues are weaker online. How can you replace them? Do you need to?

Staff morale and productivity are also frequently cited as a problem. Staff may find it had to switch on ‘work mode’ away from the office. Unlike consultants and freelancers, their home has always been a place of repose and domesticity.

But most crucially, Nico and Chris will illustrate how simply trying to replicate offline to online is quite inadequate. For example, just switching the 8am morning meeting to Zoom is not true WFH. Instead, you will need to think hard about every aspect of your business and the way it operates. The good thing is that you might emerge with a far leaner, happier and more productive team. But it won’t be easy.

Any CEO engaged in rolling out WFH should attend this webinar.

Format: 10 minutes from each speaker, 10 minutes panel discussion, 30 minutes Q&A. 60 minutes in total.