Managing a remote workforce? Expert shares tips for healthy, successful environment

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ByDavid Louie KGO logo
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Expert explains keys to a successful remote workforce
A business transformation expert in the Bay Area talks about what skills managers will need to have a successful remote workforce.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- For almost a year, we've seen changes in where and how we work. We've seen offices re-designed. Now, we're learning from a business transformation expert that empathy and engagement will lead the change.

Even as vaccinations continue, remote work keeps getting extended. Employees started working from home nearly a year ago. One key take-away from the experience has been the difficulty balancing work with family, especially with kids doing distance learning.

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Amy Cappellanti-Wolf, a veteran of several tech companies, is an expert in business transformation. She says mid-level and top managers should be focused on one thing in the changing workplace. It's empathy.

"There's a higher degree of understanding empathy, which I think is a really critical skill to have right now because if you want to retain your employees, and more importantly, engage with them, you have to understand where they're coming from," said Cappellanti-Wolf.

Everyone, at all levels, is adjusting to these evolving changes in how we work.

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Engagement is another emerging buzzword. As companies envision employees splitting the work week between home and maybe two days in the office, Cappellanti-Wolf said interaction will change.

"Often decisions are made in doorways because you pop into someone's office, you have this idea, and suddenly, what a great idea, let's move on it.," she said, "And now you don't have that convenience."

Brainstorming will shift to video conferences or internal messaging platforms.

Perhaps the biggest change could be a shift in focus, putting people ahead of their tasks.

"It's more of a pivot towards better communication, better technology, better transparency around performance, and then a whole big investment on employee wellness and mental benefits," said Cappellanti-Wolf.