Working remotely for the past three weeks has shown several challenges, benefits and disadvantages; all of which I will be highlighting throughout my future blog posts.
I’m very fortunate to work with a group of people who feel like a second family to me, but I can imagine the distance can make it harder for some team members to feel like an actual team. In this post I have put together a few tips that I feel have helped me through these three weeks.
Have regular live meetings
If you’re interacting with your colleagues by phone, you can’t see their faces or read their body language. This is why I try to make an effort to complement traditional emails and the use of Microsoft Teams messaging with regular video calls so I can see my colleagues! It’s also nice to say hello properly.
Allow moments for people to connect as people
When working from home you will discover that you no longer have natural opportunities to bond over lunch or after work, which means we need to be creative and create ways for members to inspire, connect and motivate each other. Last Friday at the end of the day we had some team fun on Zoom which involved a scavenger hunt for things around our homes. Sadly, I didn’t win! But it did promote exercise and provided plenty of laughs. Moments like these can make all the difference and can help increase productivity and general well-being.
The next communication challenge when working remotely is staying connected. How can you make sure people connected and feel like they are part of a team when working remotely? I believe the key to solving this issue is to replicate the best parts of office life, but online instead.
- it’s easy to grab lunch with a colleague and learn more about them
- it’s easy to discover what people do outside of work (hobbies, etc)
- you discover how people prefer to work when in the office
The reality is that these events listed above help people feel connected. The good news is that you can replicate many of these activities online, you just need to be intentional about it.
Remote team examples:
- Use an app like Microsoft Teams to create a ‘lunch room’ amongst your other rooms which would allow staff members to clearly show that they are on a break and are open for casual conversation.
- Run fun projects at the end of the day such as AMAs “ask me anything” sessions.
- Have employees complete a document/wiki that shares a bit more about them and what they like to do outside of work. Share these with the rest of the team.
- Have employees take a personality test and share the results with the rest of the team.
When working remotely, I feel it’s important to spend time on team-building activities where people can get to know each other. This is the most opportune time to develop stronger bonds and keep moral up.
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