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Blog - Exchanging Expectations – your route to harmonious remote working

Exchanging Expectations – your route to harmonious remote working

Posted by Tracy Powley 30/03/20

With so many team members working from home for the first time or working from home for longer than they have ever previously had to, there will be many challenges for managers to navigate. For example…

-    Ensuring people are comfortable with the technology they may not have had to use before
-    Supporting people who may be living on their own during lockdown and have lost the social
     contact work provided
-    Supporting team members who are now having to share their workspace with partners,
     children and extended family
-    Trying to keep up to date with external advice and internal decision making

Knowing how best to provide support to everyone in new and rapidly evolving circumstances can feel overwhelming.

But we can help take the guess work out of it all with our “Exchange of Expectations” model

It gives a straightforward way to structure discussions and bring clarity to how relationships can work effectively in these challenging times.

It simply supports people coming together to explain and discuss what they need from each other.

There are 4 key steps…
1.      Prepare – think about what your expectations of the other person/ people are
2.      Discuss – make this a two way exchange
3.      Agree – make a note of what you agree with each other
4.      Review – things are changing so quickly at the moment, it will be vital to review your
         agreement regularly and adapt as necessary

The key is to be very specific with each other. If you say “I would like more regular support”… it is very hard for someone to fulfil that, as it is so open to interpretation. What specifically does the support need to look like for you? Use examples to bring clarity to the discussion and agree specific actions to take forward.

Having clarity from the word go will mean far less room for misunderstanding and tension down the line.


This model can also be used by family members to negotiate how they can help their home working survive the next few weeks.

Where routines are being disrupted, space encroached upon and attention vied for, an honest exchange of needs can lead to valuable clarity and compromise.

For more information on how we can support you in creating a respectful, supportive and inclusive culture for remote team working, call us for a confidential chat on 01903 732 782 or email us or contact us

We can provide all our workshops and coaching via zoom, while lockdown is in force and beyond. 

Tracy Powley
Tracy Powley

The way we behave towards each other in the workplace has a direct impact on individual wellbeing, team performance and organisational results. This belief has underpinned our work at Focal Point for over 20 years and has never been more relevant. We are privileged to work with a huge variety of organisations wanting to get workplace behaviour and culture right - and to tackle the inappropriate behaviour that may get in the way of this. Supported by our fantastic team of facilitators and coaches, we are able to make a real difference to peoples’ lives as well as organisational performance. Having worked in both large businesses at management level and in 2 start ups at director level, I am able to combine hands on experience of growing and managing teams - and the associated challenges in creating the right culture - with over 20 years in learning and development. I hold the Certificate in Training Practice and am a member of CIPD. When I am not supporting clients or developing the Focal Point business, you will find me in a calming yoga class...

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