There's plenty of information published about the lockdown period and advice on how individuals, teams and even companies can best prosper from the shift to home working.  Therefore, I'm somewhat loathed to add too much around the subject.  

With this said, I recently had a very interesting call with a Central European board member of a Building Material manufacturer who I recruited a Managing Director for one of their UK businesses for a couple of years ago.  This manufacturer is a €3bn turnover, global leader within their range of building products, with numerous locations across the world.  

Pre lockdown, my contacts role dictated her travelling throughout their European manufacturing facilities, almost on a weekly basis. Discussing how the pandemic had affected both her role and the collective teams performance she pointed towards a very enlightening point, which I felt was worth sharing.  Although technology has dictated that teams have been more readily available for update calls, these updates over laptops have increasingly become formulaic.  Conversations have taken on an almost predisposed rhythm, with all parties being aware of the questions that will crop up, with predefined times allotted to any given meeting.  

A major issue that has since been put to rest by this client has been the unearthing of mounting challenges and / or getting to grips with fledgling issues before they escalate.  

As she put it, she's missed the "bar conversations" with internal leaders, where both parties have time to relax into the conversation and drop guards.  

Granted, it is not always possible to get that face time with your direct / indirect team(s) but my question is how can you create a platform and environment by which conversations can flow and breathe.  Likewise, are your "update meetings" becoming too humdrum with little of any real value coming off the back of them.