PCOM Leaders Share Experiences Managing Remote TeamsJune 30, 2020
Department heads and managers exchanged tips for running their offices and utilizing
technologies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (PCOM) faculty and staff transitioned
to a remote work model. On Wednesday, June 24, PCOM presented “Work Matters: Managing
Remote Teams,” a webinar focused on the transition to working remotely, the challenges
team leaders might experience and some ways they can better serve their team during
these uncertain times. The event was sponsored by the Offices of Human Resources and Diversity and Community Relations and was open to department heads and managers.
The presenters for the webinar included Patience Mason, chief student affairs officer,
Wendy Romano, chief marketing and communications officer and Richard Smith, chief
information officer. Christina Mazzella, chief human resources officer, served as
moderator for the event. The presenters were asked a variety of questions on the shift
to working remotely. They were then able to share how they handled the challenges
and offered advice for team leaders who are facing similar challenges.
Challenges of remote management
One question asked, “What was the most challenging thing your team experienced when
we first transitioned to working remotely?” Rick Smith, speaking as head of the information technology services (ITS) department, shared, “The transition to working remotely pushed up a lot of future
plans for the ITS department. We saw we had to expedite our digital transformation.”
Online tools for working remotely
In response to the question, “What helps you feel connected to your team and counteract
loneliness?” Wendy Romano shared, “Using tools available in the Google Suite, such
as Google Docs and Google Sheets, has allowed us to be very collaborative when working
remotely. Additionally, with tools like Google Meet and Blue Jeans, team members are
able to connect face-to-face at a moment’s notice.”
Patience Mason elaborated on the use of technology as a form of collaboration and
added, “We see each other now more than ever before. It’s easy to jump on a video
call to discuss a topic. We also get to see a more personal side of our teammates
– a family member or pet might pop in during a video call to say ‘hello’.” She added
“We’re getting to know each other better as a team.”
Encouraging work life balance
The presenters also discussed encouraging their team members to disconnect at the
end of the workday or workweek. “Working from home, it can be difficult to step away
and separate work time from family time,” shared Wendy Romano. “I encourage my team
to take breaks and practice self-care. The pandemic has brought on a lot of additional
stress and taking time to decompress is essential for maintaining positive mental
In addition to a selection of pre-selected questions, audience members were asked
to submit questions for the presenters to answer. Topics covered in these questions
included sustaining team morale during the pandemic, highlighting the successes of
team members and how to best manage different personalities when working remotely.
Learn more about PCOM's response to COVID-19.
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About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands
of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists
who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms.
PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic
medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in
applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic
medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, non profit leadership
and population health management, organizational development and leadership, physician
assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration.
PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service
to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care
to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.
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