Flourishing together following isolation – Guest blog by Margie Hartley

As we integrate back into the office following isolation from the Covid-19 Pandemic, we asked Margie Hartley to share her thoughts on how teams can come back together and re-engage in an office-based team environment.  Margie shares her thoughts on team trust and how we can be more mindful of the new normal as we kick start our 2021 working year.


“When you can’t see each other or sit with each other trust becomes all the more important.”

At the end of 2019 Buffer conducted a survey of remote workers and found some of the key challenges they faced were:

  1. Unplugging after work
  2. Blurred lines between work and home life
  3. Lack of connectivity, brainstorming, collaborating and information sharing.

22% of people struggled to stay motivated. And this was before the world was hit with the COVID19 pandemic.

Another study by a Big 4 accounting firm found that remote teams have an average decline in trust of 87%. The legacy of the pandemic will live with all of us for years. Some will flourish, some will not. The question we need to ask ourselves right now is; “what do we need to be focused on that will help us now and into the future?”

Some aspects of work and life will return to how they were, other things will disappear and there will be other things that will grow. Cruise ships are disappearing, online webinars are growing and a host of new business is springing up (or innovating).

At Gram Consulting Group, we think that the integration back into the new way of living and being, provide a focus and opportunity.

An opportunity to build trust instead of letting it diminish

By being mindful of the actions and activities that build trust. The structures and sharing that enables trust and allocating time for quality conversations and sharing. Trust is the major anchor in all relationships and learning to repair after a breach or setting a mindset of belief in each other are simple goals for us to aim for, to build trust.

“In a team-based environment, trust is an essential ingredient to the overall success and satisfaction.  It concludes that organisations where there are determined levels of trust, employees experience empowerment, satisfaction, and competitive advantage, stating; ” For a team to work effectively, its members must trust one another.” 

” We must be able to assume that we can trust each other, that is we can operate with the same values and purpose, count on each other during tough times, be bone straight with each other and work together with mutual respect and care “

An opportunity to find the very best of what is happening right now and retain it in the future

By documenting and nurturing the very things we have discovered during this time, like listening on a call and taking turns instead of talking over each other. Like learning to be flexible in the way work is delivered and how we measure the performance of each other.

An opportunity to build on the empathy

Being able to safely share our home environments and circumstances. Being able to be authentic and real as we meet virtually with each other has created an increased understanding and connectedness whereas before we often had a sanitised view of each other.

There are many opportunities for us all right now to co-create a future that we want to work and live in. Much feels out of our control however there is much in our control. The things we can control are our relationships and our understanding as well as our voice about the future we want to work and live in.

About Margie

Margie is one of Australia’s leading facilitators and executive coaches. She is the founder and principal consultant at Gram Consulting Group, an independent consultancy meeting the needs of teams, individuals and entire organisations.

 Margie works with 11/20 ASX listed companies, three global organisations and several government institutions. She is trusted with the secrets of many and is known for helping people find their way out of difficult problems. It’s her gift.

 She is also part of the PodcastOne family and has three podcasts; Superwomen we Ain’t with Janine Allis from Boost Juice, Fast Track career conversations, and Rebuilding Australia our Mindset, a post bushfire trauma recovery podcast with Australia’s leading psychologist and psychiatrists.

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