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Our third webinar “Bosses at breaking point” focused on the challenges leaders are currently facing & why Assistants have the chance to be more vital than ever.

We were joined by two outstanding guest speakers; Paul Frampton-Calero and Ellouise Hempstead. Paul is European President of marketing company, Control v Exposed. Paul has been leading teams remotely for some time, so shared the challenges he's faced and also the tools he's implemented to be a more effective leader. Paul also has two young children at home and he shared his tips on how to balance both responsibilities (hint: he has an amazing VA). 

Ellouise is an experienced VA who supports Paul (and two other CEOs!). She's the ultimate Hidden Hero who outlined how she virtually manages Paul's professional and personal life and shared tips on how to be super effective whilst working from home.

It was great to get perspectives from both leader and Assistant to find out where their challenges are, and more importantly, how to overcome them and work together most effectively. 

If you weren't able to make it, you can watch the video here, and below are the key takeaways from the webinar.

 

We'll be hosting weekly webinars on various subjects which are impacting our clients and candidates during this tumultuous period - details of the events will be on our LinkedIn page, so make sure you're following us for the latest updates!

KEY TAKEAWAY #1: The biggest challenges around leading a team remotely and ways to overcome them

  • Communication - changing the way you communicate with your team and respect that you are being let into their home/personal space & find out how they would like to communicate. Also: 
    • Use existing ways to communicate that work and are familiar e.g WhatsApp 
    • ‘Think like a start up’ - it's about getting things done so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t have all the top software straight away
  • Tools and Technologies - creating the infrastructure you need to do it well
    • Ensure everyone has their video on - to make sure everyone is “there and present”
    • Use different platforms - people have different preferences 
  • Culture - creating “togetherness” and an engaging culture 
  • Visibility and workflow - having the right systems and processes 

 

KEY TAKEAWAY #2: When working remotely, leadership styles and support staff assistance needs to be adapted

General

  • Adapt your style - we’re in a new way of working, sticking to your tried and tested ways might not work
  • Emotional intelligence is even more important right now - take time to understand the pressures your team is facing; appreciate that things are happening in people's lives behind the scene
    • Encourage visibility and transparency
  • Communication needs to be intentional and concise - don’t have meetings for meetings sake - be mindful of your teams’ time

 Assistant

  • A VA needs to think like a manager or leader - you need to take responsibility for your role, and involvement with the wider team
    • Use different means of communication based on the urgency of the situation
    • Find the best way of working with your leader and the rest of your team
  • Make sure you check in with everyone regularly
  • People are having to adapt, and for some that’s difficult
    • Be patient and open with your boss
    • Share your experiences
    • Offer ways of helping
  • Recognise that there is a new area you can excel in. Your bosses’ focus will have changed, so yours needs to
    • Think about health care, childcare etc. - can you add value here?
  • Now is the time to empower yourself and change your mindset - don’t wait for requests - foresee problems and present solutions. Remind everyone of your value!

 

KEY TAKEAWAY #3: The best and worst things about WFH personally and professionally

General

  • Work/life balance and integration is better if you make the effort to manage your day/schedule efficiently
  • WFH allows you to work around your other commitments/fit things in:
    • Childcare, family etc.
    • Groceries
    • Being able to be flexible with your working hours - if you’re working with people in different time zones, you can start earlier, take longer breaks, work a bit later etc.
  • The lack of distraction and being able to control who enters your workspace is incredibly empowering

 Assistant 

  • It can be easy to stay stuck at your desk all day, so you need to take responsibility and step away 
  • It’s easy to just keep working - people are generally working longer hours, but you need to find boundaries: 
    • Be clear on your working/available hours
    • Adapt your working hours based on your boss/team - if they take a few hours break during the day, do the same
    • If you overwork yourself and burn out, no one will thank you
  • It can be difficult to separate yourself from home and work as we’re all currently confined to our homes. It’s very important to dedicate a certain part of your home to work 

 

KEY TAKEAWAY #4: When done well, remote working can actually be a better way of working!

  • Everyone adapts and creates their own style of working
  • More innovation when people have less meetings 
  • No commuting gives everyone some time back for themselves e.g exercise, family, self-learning, etc. 
  • It’s better for client interaction - you’ll find yourself talking to your clients more often
  • It’ll improve talent retention - people like to have the option of WFH 
  • Nurture your culture by having fun activities - quizzes, games, virtual pub - no work talk, just a chance to chat with your team

 

For more insights and information you can follow Paul on both LinkedIn and Twitter, and Ellouise on LinkedIn

We think you’ll all agree that the way we have been living, buying, selling and working is unfit for today’s tumultuous times. Paul has recently released an aptly named podcast, “Time for a Reset”, which talks to inspirational business and marketing leaders to understand how they’re driving change in their own companies. Very topical, and very relevant, we recommend you give this a listen!