Is your team suddenly working from home due to COVID-19?
And, if you had to rank your team’s current approach to working remotely out of 10, what would you say?
Success when working from home can vary wildly, and your answer to the above question all depends on your planning and how you put in place the right strategy.
If implemented poorly, the change may seem like an insurmountable threat to your team’s cohesiveness. But if done correctly, it can actually result in great productivity.
In this guide we will walk you through the four key parts that should make up your strategy. You can implement these to make sure the change to working from home is successful for you and your team.
Manage your team and communication
At times like these, there is a lot of information that needs to be communicated - often and clearly - to your team.
This is where maintaining a regular dialogue with each of your workforce is crucial. There are several ways this can be achieved.
Communicate the importance to your team of maintaining a regular work structure: Devise common, fixed start and end times each day so that everyone is structured, aligned, and can get in touch with each other when required. This also helps avoid people in your team working over-time and allows them to retain separate ‘work’ and ‘life’ parts of the day.
Schedule specific touchpoints with your team: For example, daily morning or afternoon wrap up meetings. Having a regular 9am huddle, gives you the opportunity to stay in touch with everyone in the team, provides your team with the chance to go over current issues, and reminds your staff that they’re still part of a team that can work through challenges together. A huge component of successfully working from home is being able to maintain a team dynamic. By being physically removed from the rest of your team, it’s easy to start feeling isolated. But you don’t have to work in isolation just because you’re no longer working out of the office.
Develop a set format for group meetings: This will allow you to continue to lead your team and ensure everyone gets an opportunity to be heard. Don’t just have random video conferences with one or two team members, or the occasional phone call with others - find a group format that works and is inclusive.
Make sure you still have one-on-one meetings: It can be easy to assume that because you’ve had a team meeting, everyone in your team has the answers they need. It’s still important to check in with individual members who may prefer one-to-one communication. Check in on work tasks, and be sure to ask about their mental health and how they’re doing in general.
Implement interest groups: Naturally in an office situation, we gravitate towards people who have similar beliefs or hobbies. That’s hard to do online. Software like Microsoft Teams, or messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger can allow different groups within your organisation and team to join together and continue enjoying the things they love together. For example, the dog enthusiasts in your team can still share cute stories and pictures - via a dedicated group!