It has been a monumental couple of weeks for our country as well as the world as a whole. One of the major impacts has been workforces having to very quickly switch to a work from home model. Many small businesses are not accustom to this shift in work style and have scrambled to accommodate to new mandates and policies.
While there are many considerations to make when having your team work from home including productivity tools and security concerns, one important aspect to remember is connectivity. During this stressful and uncertain time it important that your team feels empowered, connected, and supported.
With this in mind, we have compiled some ideas for how your team can stay connected while shifting to full time remote work:
Use a collaboration tool/program.
When your team is remote its more important than ever to find a spot where teammates can easily communicate and collaborate throughout the workday. Some program options include: Teams, Slack, & Zoom.
At Mapletronics we use Microsoft Teams (FREE to download currently), other options include slack and zoom. What we love about teams is it combines the most important aspects of collaboration: chat, video calling, and file sharing, in one easy-to-navigate platform. What you'll find in teams is that you can seamlessly collaborate and work on projects together effectively using all of Microsoft's other programs such as Excel and Word. You can also easily schedule and hold video calls, an important aspect of working remote.
Use video conferencing as much as possible.
One of the main hurdles of working remotely is the isolation that can occur. Your normal day-to-day collaboration time is harder to achieve because people are not in the same building.
While a phone call can address this issue, using a video conferencing/calling solution is even better. You get to see your teammates and interact as if you are together in the office.
Schedule Daily Huddles/Check Ins.
Working remotely makes connection more important than ever. Scheduling daily huddles within your teams helps to make sure that teammates are feeling connected as well as on task.
Daily huddles don't have to be long but go a long way to boost team bonding and using video calling keeps the entire team feeling connected.
Create virtual team building activities.
Carry-ins and team activities don't have to go out the window just because your team is remote. Encourage fun virtual get togethers and share photos of your day to keep the team bonding alive during an uncertain time.
Some fun ideas include:
weekly questions of the day threads where teammates are encouraged to share a bit about their life. Ask to see pictures of workspaces, favorite vacation spots, funny memes, pet pictures etc.
Hosting virtual events such as happy hours or lunch breaks helps encourage teammates to log on to a video call at the same time and spend time seeing each other's facing and connecting in an informal atmosphere.
Daily off topic threads to keep casual office chatter and encourage discussion
During a stressful time it can be especially important to tune into team building activities and assure that your team feels positive and connected.
Set working expectations.
While working from home can make it tempting for teammates to sleep in or work late at night, it is important to have your team on the same page and address expectations. It is recommended that teammates working from home stick to a similar schedule as held in the office.
Not only does this help keep the workday flowing and project and collaboration on point, it also helps teammates feeling a sense of normalcy and schedule in an uncertain and stressful time.
When your team moves to a remote atmosphere you do not have to sacrifice on connection or productivity. Make sure to address expectations and solutions for how your organization will handle the hurdles you may experience and encourage your team to share creative solutions along the way.