Author of the month: Sarah Cook

During the coronavirus pandemic, organisations across the globe have been seeking Sarah Cook’s advice. Why? She literally wrote the book on working from home.

Making a Success of Managing and Working Remotely provides practical guidance on how managers and their employees can continue to work and communicate effectively while physically distanced.

This is something that millions of organisations have had to deal with since the lockdown began, and thanks to the successful rollout of remote working schemes, many people are happy to continue working from home when business as usual resumes.

But who is Sarah Cook and why has her advice proven so valuable during the lockdown? Let’s take a look.

Who is Sarah Cook?

Sarah Cook has more than 20 years’ consulting experience, specialising in team building, leadership and change. She’s the managing director of The Stairway Consultancy, and previously worked for Unilever and as head of customer care for a retail marketing consultancy.

In recent years, she’s used this experience to publish several books on team building, leadership, management development and coaching. Her publications are:

Cook speaks regularly at conferences and seminars on these topics, and during the coronavirus pandemic her expertise on remote working has been particularly sought after.

For example, she recently hosted a webinar for IT Governance, which you can download for free. In it, she discusses how managing and working remotely is becoming the new norm and will remain popular even when the lockdown is eased.

She focuses particularly on employees’ well-being, providing advice on how to stop remote workers feeling isolated and to retain a sense of unity in the team.

Making a Success of Managing and Working Remotely

The world of work was rapidly changing even before the lockdown. Thanks to a host of new technologies that have made it simple and cost-effective to implement remote-work strategies, the number of remote workers increased by a fifth between 2008 and 2018.

This number was already predicted to soar further in the coming years, and the lockdown has only expedited the process.

However, organisations have learned in the past few months that a remote workforce comes with many challenges – both in terms of logistics and employees’ wellbeing.

They will also learn in the coming months that there’s a big difference between remote working in a time of crisis and as part of your standard operations.

Making a Success of Managing and Working Remotely explains how organisations can prepare for and adapt to home working. It focuses on managers and team members, and the steps organisations can take to ensure their relationship remains intact.

  • For managers, this book provides practical advice on how to manage remotely, with emphasis on the use of technology, creating team cohesion and avoiding isolation factors.
  • For team members, this book provides tips and techniques on how to work remotely, balance work and outside-work demands, and deliver desired outcomes.

Using case studies, diagrams and tables, with a good balance of research and practical advice, Cook discusses both the technological and psychological aspects of remote working.

It’s available in physical, e-book, ePub and Kindle formats. You can find out which format is right for you with our handy guide.

Receive 15% off any of Sarah Cook’s books throughout June by entering the voucher code “cook15” at the checkout.

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What’s next?

Cook remains busy providing consultancy support to help organisations adapt to remote working.

She says much of her work is focused on stress management and resilience, as she encourages organisations to address the effects that the sudden switch to remote working can have on employees’ mental health:

As the result of the pandemic, managing and working remotely is becoming the norm. Many people are now working from home and foresee themselves continuing to do so for some time.

At this difficult time I have been helping many managers to build their own and team members’ resilience. I believe it is especially important to focus on personal and team well-being during this period of unprecedented uncertainty.

If you’re interested in Sarah’s consultancy services, you can contact her via LinkedIn or The Stairway Consultancy.