Working from Home: Best Practice Tips
With so many companies taking on board the Government’s directive to #StayHome and #StaySafe during COVID-19, the new reality impacting many employers is how to maintain the team spirit and work ethic, as well as lead and manage their businesses and teams remotely.
Apart from the obvious economic impact, leaders also need to consider the potential risks to their team, both physically and mentally, and to do all they can to minimise these risks and the associated falls in performance and productivity.
Happily, working from home doesn’t necessarily mean a huge investment in technology, but it does require ‘virtual teaming’ to maintain that connection and collaborative work environment, albeit from multiple office spaces.
So how do we, as employers, achieve this? Guidelines suggest we should try the following:
- Provide more structure, not less
Initiate discussions, schedule in tasks and integrate work efforts
- Slow down not speed up
It’s easy to be misunderstood when communication online, make sure everyone is on the same page (and video conferencing is a great tool to assist)
- Make sure everyone knows their role
Remote working can lead to a lack of accountability, so make sure roles and clear
- Maintain team relationships
There’s no reason why you can’t continue ‘Friday Knock-Off Drinks’, put in in your calendar and use a group App to get together – remotely
- Don’t forget the newbies
Newer team members may struggle in the virtual world – don’t forget to be inclusive!
- Unmute ‘distractions’ for small groups
Your puppy barking in the background reminds us we are connecting with real people
- Video conferencing is the way to go
It’s inclusive and you can easily pick up on non-verbal cues if one of the team isn’t being heard
- Preserve your digital information and ideas
Great ideas can come out of remote video conferencing as we see our roles from a different perspective – don’t forget you can hit the record button with most Apps!
- Limit your team meetings to your core group
Invite ‘guest teamers’ as needed, but keep your core team so that trust and cohesion is maintained
- Mix it up!
Use different technologies to generate ideas, depending on the focus of your team meeting. If you’re brainstorming for example, maybe consider Stormboard, Moxtra or Twoodoo
When the COVID-19 challenges have passed, you may find that it’s those employers who have embraced the opportunity to increase and leverage cultural and geographical diversity through virtual teaming, who are well placed to reap the rewards of their commitment to enhanced innovation, post-coronavirus.