Working from home
For a majority of businesses across the UK, teams that once worked side by side are now working apart. This is not only a challenging time for employees, but also uncharted waters for those leading them.
Buffer’s State of Remote Work Survey found that on the whole employees were more productive and enjoyed a more positive work-life balance whilst working from home, whereas others cited struggling to unplug after work and communication issues as unwelcome challenges.
So, how can you make your team thrive during lockdown?
So far, 2020 has been a bit different. Under the current circumstances everyone needs to be more flexible and accommodating to each other. It isn’t easy to juggle family life, work projects and everything else in between.
We are all working in a completely different environment, so that needs to be respected.
The check in
Whilst it is important to check in with all members of the team to ensure that everyone is coping with their new work setup, only do so when necessary. Endless emails, messages and unnecessary video meetings will distract and overwhelm people. Engage with team members as often as you would in the office – working from home doesn’t change that.
If clear goals and achievable actions are set, it is easier for teams to work independently. Project management tools are very useful in this case for increased visibility and to track work progress.
It is really important to maintain boundaries between work and home now that the two worlds have collided. If that means you can close the door to your home office, close it. Or even if that means putting your laptop and notepad away in a drawer at the end of the day, do it.
Employees should also only be contactable during their set working hours. We all need downtime to unwind from work, especially in these uncertain and potentially stressful times.
Everyone has felt it at some point, but there can be an underlying feeling of needing to prove yourself when working remotely. Just because you can’t be seen physically doesn’t mean that you are not working – in fact productivity levels seem to increase across the board.
Being transparent helps to alleviate these feelings because it is clear which projects you are working on and you can build trust with managers and colleagues. This is why project management tools and clear communication are so important for tracking progress and managing deadlines.
Always make sure that the content of any message or email is easy to understand. With such an increase in the number of digital messages that we are all receiving at the moment, it is important to communicate as clearly as possible.
Have team meetings as a video call to feel connected, as well as ‘old-fashioned’ phone calls. It is always best to check to see what is the preferred method of communication though, so the flow of work isn’t disrupted!
The big ideas
Team discussions are certainly a part of the working day that we all miss. Sometimes these sessions could inspire the next big marketing campaign or just provide time to share creative ideas.
Hyve’s marketing team has continued to have these idea-building sessions over video call or Slack – sometimes those half-baked thoughts can lead to a really brilliant idea with the help of the rest of the team. These team discussions also help everyone to feel included and keep up morale.
Does your team have any other tips for staying connected and working together during this time? Let us know @Hyve!