While the pandemic pushed people to work from home, there are several benefits associated with it that have made it a preference for several companies going forward. At the pandemic’s start, the sudden shift from office to a home caused coping and performance issues for many, not to mention the endless distractions from everyday household activities. It has been quite a change indeed!
Is it all bad then? Not even close! Actually, there are several benefits to working from home, with the most prominent one being more freedom over time.
Sarah Harvey’s book “The Ultimate A-Z of Home Working” is an exciting read. A line in the book states, “Organizations that don’t offer home working may be missing out on a large pool of talent, many of whom now value home working more than they value a bonus.” Now isn’t this news for the organizations!
The critical skills needed for working from home are not all the same as working from an office. Employees need the right skills in these crucial times to help them succeed by mitigating the adverse outcomes arising from potential burnout.
Peer coaching to the rescue
These days, our typical routine is that the alarm goes off in the morning, and we start checking our work from the bed itself. Yeah, you read it right!
We sit on a conference call through lunch and end up working on a report late into the evening. Our laptops have become an extension of ourselves, always by our side. Sounds familiar?
Let’s talk facts!
- A 2008 University of California report found that it took an average of 23 minutes 15 seconds to get back on task following an interruption
- Most employees have reported that, on average, they are working at least three hours more at home
- Working from home does not necessarily indicate flexibility, but getting work done at awkward hours is common these days
Here comes peer coaching to the rescue. Are you wondering why? No worries! So did I, at first.
This gives employees a complete picture of their performance and exposes them to a more significant range of workplace skills that are relevant in the current times. These skills can be learned quickly by having a peer to talk to and learn from them as they are also working in the same work environment.
All great leaders have mastered the skills like –
- active listening
- effective feedback
- timely communication
- the ability to teach and mentor
Peer coaching helps in building many of these leadership skills. You can even think of it as a natural way of developing them since, as a peer coach, you must listen to your peers, have empathy, give feedback, teach, communicate effectively, and more.
The drive for achieving greater heights
My peers are kinda awesome!
Employees these days do not only want to work better, but they also expect to grow into better versions of themselves in their workplaces. Peers are aware of the workplace issues specific to the company that you are working in. This makes it easier to talk to peers as they understand your problems and work in the same work environment. It also creates a friendship between peers, making it better. This creates a better bond between the co-workers and establishes a good amount of trust, which boosts the drive for innovations, a sense of security, and more effectiveness, increasing the performance by multiple folds.
I have a great camaraderie and engagement with my peers!
So the other day, I was in a peer coaching session with a colleague of mine and wasn’t prepared for the valuable life lesson that I would receive in the next few minutes.
I started it and expressed my worries regarding the burnout that I am currently experiencing, and I went on by explaining to him how I tried this and that…Then, he tells me, did you discuss these issues with your colleagues? Maybe they are experiencing them as well, causing you all a lot of stress. He added that sometimes over-communicating in these situations is better than keeping it to yourself. If you all have specific common problems, just discuss them and speak up to get them sorted.
Is it that a peer coach only gives lessons? No way! When you coach a peer, you learn new things as well. It also allows the coach to change the older perspectives and reskill himself to stay relevant with the changing times. This engagement starts a co-learning atmosphere between co-workers who understand each other’s workplace concerns.
While working from home, we have noticed that many employees struggle with lack of motivation, not seeing their co-workers often, and many more. Working with peers significantly reduces this negative impact not just for work meetings but by providing opportunities to connect with several of their peers that they might not even have met in the office. This helps in nurturing and adequately using the talent pool in the organization, increasing the organization’s overall performance.
Maintaining good relationships
In remote teamwork, trust and transparency play a vital role. Make sure that you communicate about all the relevant action items and, of course, do so in a timely manner. So, even though you are working from home, your co-workers know what you are working on and know who to approach for any queries or suggestions regarding that work. This is particularly important with new hires who may not even have met their co-workers in person.
Arrange regular meetings with your manager and peers. Maintain good social contact with them by talking on topics that are not just about work but others. Transparency goes a long way towards building trust and a sense of belongingness within the teams.
Peer coaching helps to realize that leadership is not just about upskilling oneself but teamwork to grow both your organization and yourself by uplifting your peers. Every employee can develop relevant critical skills like communication and teamwork that drive effective collaboration.
You can always connect with our team of experts to build a robust peer coaching strategy using a powerful peer coaching platform and transform leadership development in your organization.