Absence introduces doubt… it’s easy to find oneself wondering what are team colleagues or reports are actually up to. In a good moment we know that they are working diligently and ticking off the tasks on their to-do lists. In a bad moment we might suspect that they are not applying themselves as we might wish.
A study in Finland recently found that reported levels of trust between colleagues had fallen amongst 5,400 Finnish workers, during the pandemic. Meanwhile, Top 10 VPN, a leading internet privacy advocate, tells us about record increases in 2021 of the sales of employee surveillance software.
So what can we do about this trust problem?
I need to stop thinking about your working hours and think time zones instead, as I do with my globally dispersed colleagues. You have a different time zone or zones, to me.
I need to remind myself to focus on outcomes and not inputs: is this team member turning out good work?
I must get better at explaining my expectations - what I really want from the working relationship with you (what makes me happy and confident) and what doesn't work for me.
I might always be a little bit suspicious about what my colleagues are actually up to (a normal and sensible way of dealing with ambiguity?) at any particular moment in time but I need to happily assume that they will prove me wrong, again and again.