Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Creating a Supportive Remote Work Culture: Insights from Amanda Fludd, Executive Director of Kensho Psychotherapy Services

Leaders Perception Magazine is currently running an interview series called – Building a Successful Remote Work Culture: Discussing strategies and best practices for fostering a productive and engaged remote workforce, addressing topics like communication, collaboration tools, work-life balance, and employee well-being

Interviewee Name: Amanda Fludd

Company: Kensho Psychotherapy Services, LCSW, PLLC

Position: Executive Director / Psychotherapist

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amanda-fludd/

Amanda Fludd’s favorite quote: “ You can’t just say you want to be happy, you have to take action. Ru Pau

Amanda Fludd, the Executive Director of Kensho Psychotherapy Services, shares her experiences in starting her own psychotherapy practice and addressing the systemic challenges faced by marginalized communities. Amanda’s passion for helping others and her desire to provide personalized support led her to establish a practice that focuses on the needs of clients of color. Through workshops, retreats, and coaching, Amanda and her team strive to bridge the gap between accessible resources and quality informed care.

To support her remote team, Amanda emphasizes the importance of maintaining a human connection. Recognizing that it’s easy to lose sight of the human aspect of work when not physically together, Amanda has been intentional about providing support and fostering connection. She increased the frequency of team meetings from monthly to biweekly, dedicating time to share life wins and happenings to keep the connection strong. Additionally, Amanda regularly checks in on her team’s general well-being, asking about their stressors and offering help as needed. The team also utilizes mail to send welcome boxes to new staff and quarterly packages to veterans, showing appreciation and care.

Amanda acknowledges the challenge of maintaining work-life balance in a remote setting, where the boundaries between work and personal life can blur. She recommends establishing clear lines for when the workday ends and creating a transition ritual to signal the shift from work to personal time. Whether it’s taking a walk, engaging in a specific activity, or finding a quiet place to decompress, this pause and intentional transition help the mind recognize that work is over for the day. Organizations can support their employees by inquiring about their disconnecting routines, addressing challenges, and fostering a culture that prioritizes self-care and well-being. By leading by example and promoting emotional breaks during the day, leaders can encourage their staff to follow suit.

Amanda’s insights highlight the importance of maintaining human connection, supporting well-being, and establishing clear boundaries in remote work environments to foster a positive and balanced work culture.

The Interview

Thank you so much for joining us today! Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your backstory?

Amanda Fludd : Starting my psychotherapy practice came in response to witnessing the systemic difficulties faced by marginalized populations once hospitalized for psychiatric needs. That culture made it difficult to work in a way that supported the needs of our clients and left the staff burnout and disconnected from their work in a way that wasn’t inspiring. I’ve always loved helping, from way back when when I taught my imaginary class with by chalkboard, and that excitement wasn’t something I wanted to compromise on. Coupled with the training and experiences I acquired, I realized I had marketable skills which led to exploring at first additional opportunities to serve and make money, and quickly that turned into creating a full-time practice with staff that specializes in personalized support for clients of color. We are now approaching 5 years in business.

Through my work, I aim to address the systemic challenges faced by marginalized communities, bridging the gap between accessible resources, quality informed care, and providing the support they deserve. Our whole vibe is one of resilience, empowerment, and this sense that we got you. It’s something we work to convey to clients, and I’ve had to learn to convey to my staff as I’ve also grown into a CEO role. I’m one of the few people that can say I love other people’s problems and love to embrace that creatively as we think about new was to address the crisis of Mental Health through workshops for organizations related to wellbeing, hosting retreats for women of color, or coaching executives behind the scenes on mindset. Therapy has really left the couch for us. Outside of that I’m a parent and I love to run half-marathons in cool places like Alaska and sip tea with my friends.

How do you ensure effective communication and collaboration among remote team members? Can you share any specific tools or practices that have been particularly effective for your organization?

Amanda Fludd : To support our team who is still remote with the exception of myself I’ve had to be intentional with remembering they need support and they matter. It’s easier to lose the human aspect of workers when you don’t see them day to day and hear about their weekends, upcoming trips or cornball jokes. So intentionality for us has meant going from monthly to biweekly team meetings, where we leave a few minutes to share life wins and happenings to keep that connection. I use that to ask questions about how things went and I think overall it helps us as a team to keep the water culture connection going. As a regular practice I also check in on every ones general wellbeing- whats stressing them this week, how they feel, what help do they need from me a leader or us as a team, etc. We’ve also begun to utilize mail- sending welcome boxes to new staff with professional and personal items and something quarterly to our veteran’s so they still know we value them and care for them- which we genuinly do.

Maintaining work-life balance can be challenging in a remote work environment. What strategies do you recommend for remote employees to create boundaries between work and personal life? How can organizations support their employees in achieving a healthy work-life balance?

Amanda Fludd : This comes up a lot when we host trainings like Navigating the Trauma of Work. The stress of the day rubs off on you and when we don’t have that natural break of leaving the office, and the car or train ride home to decompress it slowly chips away at your wellbeing. I do recommend having clear lines for when you end work and creating a new transition ritual. So getting up at 5p, walking outside your house for fresh air to disconnect and maybe walking back into the house and doing something else or turning up the music and reengaging your body and charging up endorphins so you are excited to wrap the day and transition, or find a new quiet place to decompress and then shift. That pause and shifting is key to letting your mind know work is over for the day. Organizations can best support this by following up to see when people are disconnecting from work and ending their day, ask them about challenges in this area, limit the culture of checking or sending emails late, create emotional breaks during the day to reinforce the culture of prioritizing self to best accomplish the tasks at hand, and not sacrifice self. When this happens from a leadership levels staff or more inclined to follow suit.

Leaders Perception Magazine would like to thank Amanda Fludd and Kensho Psychotherapy Services, LCSW, PLLC for the time dedicated to completing this interview and sharing their valuable insights with our readers!

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