Procurement · 3 August 2021

How digital has gone soft – but in a good way

Looking back pre- pandemic (was there such a time?!), previous digital and remote working roles were often seen as ‘cut-off’, ‘cold’ and not connected to other team members. Most employees communicated mainly over the phone. The pandemic has caused businesses to step up and improve their digital soft skills, with lockdown being the push that was needed to make these skills critical to the success of a business.

With restrictions being lifted and many offices re-opening their doors around the UK, many have chosen to not go back to office life. Even large banks and multinationals have ditched the office in favour of a flexible work from home arrangement meaning their staff can, literally, be anywhere.

The big question, however, is will companies be sure to make soft skills an integral part of their offering post pandemic?

Let’s look at some of the ways this has been done, and what we can do to ensure your soft skills remain strong as we move into a more permanent way of remote working.

Check-in

Since the pandemic a much larger emphasis has been placed on employee’s wellbeing, and rightly so. It’s pushed digital and remote leaders to check in more frequently with their employees and communicate expectations clearly. Platforms such as zoom are crucial when it comes to this, as working from home means leaders need to pay closer attention when checking in.  Have the camera on for meetings, see your team and concentrate on any little changes. If you start to feel that your team is feeling pressured or struggling, check in with line managers and assess where work can be delegated and managed.

Teamwork

Being purely digital means everyone is now on zoom or teams.  The barriers of old in-person meetings, where some people would sit at the back and let the more outspoken colleagues share their thoughts and lead the conversation, have now changed. Thanks to digital, everyone can now have a voice with the ability to put people on mute and run through ideas member by member. Digital has many connotations and one of which is it lacks personal contact, yet for many, being in a large room was intimidating and unwelcome. Being in a smaller group or having the digital floor can allow for all team members to be heard and participate.

Remember, teamwork is altruistic. It happens when people serve each other for the greater good. Within that synergy, something magical happens and more is achieved, and everyone is more productive.

Agile leadership


 

ABOUT THE EXPERT

Anthony Chadwick, a serial entrepreneur, is the founder and CVO of The Webinar Vet, the largest online veterinary education provider in the world. He is one of the most recognised and respected thought leaders in the UK veterinary sector. Anthony founded The Webinar Vet in 2010, when the word webinar was not in the veterinary dictionary. A vet by trade, whilst at an internet conference he spotted a gap in the market to make veterinary education and training more accessible and affordable, via the medium of webinars. Trailblazers in the industry, the company grew very quickly and now has over 70,000 veterinary professionals accessing the training in over 120 countries. Students currently spend a combined annual total of approximately 200,000 hours a year training on the site.

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