This article is about how to collaborate remotely, and thrive better working from home. Henrik and Caroline are fictive people. Their names and circumstances have been anonymized and changed.
Henrik is Technical Project Manager in a team of five. So he’s an informal leader. He depends on the others doing their job. Because he is responsible for the deliveries and the project. But he doesn’t have hire/fire responsibilities.
Usually, the collaboration with Caroline is fine, but for the last two months Henrik has started doing Caroline’s work instead of delegating it as he should as a project manager. But he doesn’t feel like he can count on her anymore. It’s easier to do it yourself – “and then we also avoid unpleasant mistakes like the one she made to the steering committee”: he told me in a session. Henrik has also stopped talking to Caroline like he used to. Now, working from home, it is easy to avoid her. But they still have the regular project meetings. One day it became too much for Henrik.
Henrik has a challenge. Before the pandemic he was part of a team of five where they were very effective and had a really good time together. Although Henrik is not very talkative and actually thrives on workdays at home, he now waits for the Corona pandemic to be over so everything can get back to normal. The collaboration with his colleague Caroline has gone off track, and this has major consequences for the project, the team and Henrik:
- They have lost their commitment.
- They don’t get much done in the project.
- Their funding is at risk due to a mistake that Caroline has made – at least if you ask Henrik.
- Neither Henrik nor Caroline thrives – and the others in the team can feel it too.