People Need People! Get More Out of Remote Working
Based on the government’s advice, many people are now working from home or self-isolating. The first thing that came to mind when I heard this was that people need people! The FIRO framework gives us a simple way to remember that we all need, in varying amounts:
So, what can we do to fulfill our own and others’ needs in these three areas?
Inclusion is the extent to which you need to belong and be part of groups.
- Schedule check-ins or regular meetings with your team
- Find ways to connect with other groups you belong to, e.g. your book club could meet virtually
- Use chat/messenger apps to keep some chatting going amongst you and your colleagues
- Remember that many other people are in the same boat and that everyone is in this together
Connection is the extent to which you need close one-to-one relationships with others.
- Make an effort to contact individuals and have a proper chat during the day
- Reach out to other people just to say hi
- Find alternative ways to connect with others. You could go in the direction of technology (Skype and Facetime)
Influence is the extent to which you need to influence others and have direction/influence from others.
- Ensure that you have as much clarity as you need about what is expected of you and your responsibilities
- If you are a manager, ask your direct reports if they have the information and clarity they need
- If you are a manager, avoid micromanaging from afar. Instead, find ways to check in that work for both you and your direct report
- Use remote working as an opportunity to encourage people to innovate and be creative!
Be mindful that people want varying amounts of these three FIRO needs, and don’t assume people’s needs based on their behavior. What you see is not necessarily what people want, and the FIRO framework helps to point out these differences do exist. It might be an idea to explore how each of your direct reports/colleagues wants to connect and go from there.