How to stay connected with your team when working remotely
16th Mar 2020
With the global pandemic of the coronavirus, more businesses are choosing to work from home to encourage social distancing to prevent further spread of the virus. If you’re considering doing this or are already working from home, it can sometimes be difficult to ensure you’re as productive as you would be if you were in the office. We’ve put together some key tips on how to ensure productivity is maximised.
Communication can be easier when you’re in the office. You can walk to a person’s office or chat to your colleague who’d be a desk or two away from you. Communication is key to ensuring everyone is on the same page. Since your manager is no longer around, take responsibility for your meetings, it’s your job to ensure you’re communicating effectively with your team, from discussing progress on projects, daily tasks and collaborating with team members remotely.
Be prepared for each meeting before you join a conference call or video call to ensure you’re outlining the important details needed, make the meeting work as productively and effectively as possible.
At Corvus, every morning we have a team huddle to run through what we plan to do today. There are many ways you can do this using conference call technology with your team remotely. We use Microsoft Teams for this purpose, you can remote call everyone from their desktops and/or mobiles and you can use it as a video or only voice call conference. I recommend muting your device when others are talking in the meeting to sure everyone can clearly hear what is being said, interference is a real issue when having remote conference calls.
Microsoft Teams makes it easy to Instantly go from group chat to video conference with the touch of a button. Teams of 10 or 10,000 can meet in one place, no matter how many places they’re in. You can use the group chat feature for private 1-to-1 conversations, specific team chats or for company wide conversations. There are increased collaboration opportunities, you can access, share, and edit Word docs, PowerPoint, and Excel files in real time. Planner is an excellent tool as well to assign & track tasks and stay organised.
You can also add in other apps to increase productivity such as Trello. I personally like that my calendar is interlinked into the app so I can quickly check my schedule during a conversation with a colleague.
Learn more about Microsoft Teams here.
There are many other communication platforms which are great for remote working such as Slack. Slack also helps team communication and collaborate in one place, it’s good for both a large enterprise and a small business. You can create to-do list and continue working on projects by bringing the right people, conversations, tools and information you need together. Slack is available on any device as well; you can message or call any person or group within your team. You can video call groups of up to 15 people.
• Share and edit documents a in Slack
• Integrate the tools and services you already use into your workflow, including Google Drive, Salesforce, Dropbox, Asana, Twitter, Zendesk and more
• Easily search a central knowledge base that automatically indexes and archives your team’s past conversations and files
• Customise your notifications so you stay focused on what matters
Learn more about Slack here
To ensure you’re set up for success, focus on how to make yourself comfortable but motivated at home. Things like the kind of seat you’re on, sitting on the sofa with your laptop is not good for your posture and will cause back pain after a few days of doing this. I recommend sitting at the dining room table and have a chair with a back to it.
This is your home made office at the end of the day, you can put up posters, have the dog beside you, eat out all the snack in the cupboard and have endless cups of tea if you hadn’t already had this opportunity when you were in the office.
Just because you’re working from home, doesn’t necessarily mean you can start making up your own hours, to be most productive, try to work the usual hours you’d usually do in the office. Set your alarm for 7am as usual and get yourself behind the laptop/computer, this pattern will help maintain your motivation long term and you should have your colleagues doing the same. This helps maintain productivity of projects that the team are working similar hours as they word at home.
Know when to log off
Although you may receive emails outside of work hours, it’s important to be able to switch of when working from home. This can be helped by separating the work environment from your usual relaxation routine. If you relax on the sofa, try to work at the dining table or study room, so you can switch off.
Overall, when working from home it’s so important to maintain communication with your team, have your routine, a separate workspace in your house and to know when to log off. Remember, many other businesses are in the same boat. Hopefully this situation settles down soon, and we can get back to business at usual. For now, adapt to the situation, keep communication lines open with your team and stay positive.
Working from home doesn't mean you need to stop recruiting. Get in touch to learn about our remote recruitment process to build your team or if you're interested in a move, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org / 028 9091 8529
Find out how to on-board staff remotely here
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