“I’m by myself.”

As I was just starting to compose what wll be the next entry in this series, I happened to visit the internal IBM website and came across an article entitled, “‘I’m by myself.’ Tips for staying connected in a mobile world.'” It begins by noting that about 20% of my IBM colleagues work from home, and goes on to say that while many employees find it more productive with fewer distractions, others find it it a be a challenge due to their isolation.

It’s equally a challenge to begin a new project, especially where you start just as a team of one with a goal that you know will require the help of others.

The article includes a number of tips to employees to help them feel like part of a team even when their work address is also their home address. I won’t copy all the tips here, but here are a few that also apply when starting a new project:

 

  • Find a mentor or become a mentor.
  • Don’t always rely on technology. Pick up the phone and call a team member, it’s more personal than instant messaging.
  • Communication is key. Set up weekly or biweekly calls.
  • Have a team call/meeting once a quarter where the agenda is just about getting to know each other, not about work. Have some fun.
  • Join a local group and participate in their events.
  • Volunteer for projects or opportunities that will give you exposure beyond your immediate work group.
  • Try what one mobile employee calls “speed mentoring.” Reach out to others in your area. Invite them to lunch and find out more about their job and organization.

Keep in mind the suggestions about volunteering and having fun. We’ll by trying to follow them soon…

 

 

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