The Productivity Lie: Increased trust a result of remote working

We recently asked our clients to informally share insights on the productivity and engagement of their teams as we’ve moved to remote work. 

In most instances people leaders feel their teams appear more engaged, more willing to ‘think outside the box’ and more transparent with their feedback and insights.

We asked ourselves, is this a product of remote working or greater trust?

One of the patterns we noticed in almost every response was the consistent belief that teams were more connected and engaged.  While this may seem like a contradiction given the reduced in-person interaction, what appears to be emerging is at greater sense of communal trust.

We develop trust when we feel comfortable to share vulnerable aspects of our personality and lives in our day to day interactions.  The pandemic has forced us to not only trust each other but to share critical aspects of our personal life that may have previously been less visible. 

Parenting multiple young children, caring for aging loved ones or dealing with sickness or illness has now come to the forefront when attempting to schedule virtual meetings or calls.  Juggling the demands of one’s personal life with work obligations no longer fall into easily delineated categories and has encouraged teams to share the humanity of this experience.

The result? Teams are demonstrating greater vulnerability with their peers and in turn a level of trust and engagement forms that supersedes conventional norms.

So how do we continue to leverage the positive by-products of the higher levels of engagement?

  • Continue to communicate transparently about goals and new operating norms
  • Set clear expectations and ensure all members of the team recognize what the ‘new normal’ means for their role
  • Encourage open dialogue and exchange when things are unclear or ambiguous
  • Promote and reward creativity and inventive solutioning
  • Encourage an ‘unsiloed’ approach to collaboration that looks beyond departmental boundaries
  • Emphasize the collective versus individualistic focus of new plans / strategies

How have you and your teams managed your new working norms? Connect with us @

Share your insights with us, we'd love to hear from you!

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