Staying Connected – Teams
Businesses globally are having to change their internal workings rapidly in response to the COVID pandemic. Teams have been sent home in their hoards, and if your company has not already assimilated remote working technology and processes, your office culture is about to come under scrutiny.
If you have a thriving, healthy culture, trust should be a mutual feeling between employer and employee. It’s one thing seeing your team tapping away on their computers in the office, but it’s another to trust they are working just as hard in their own homes.
Just as we recommended with your customers, try switching your mindset. Instead of micromanaging or losing touch, take this opportunity to develop higher levels of trust, respect and stability within your teams. Learning how to do this now means you will not only have a more productive team; your business will also be crisis-proof in the future.
To get started, you’ll first need to understand how your teams are feeling towards their colleagues, management and their role in the business. Some carefully delivered, internal research can go a long way to understanding how your team truly feels and how they’d like to develop in the future.
Ideally, as a business, you want to attract and retain team members who work hard for the business. Your employees need to buy into the company, as much as the company needs to buy into them. So as your teams work from home, consider how you can build a business culture that will support and motivate everyone. Staying flexible to people’s needs will no doubt be a massive part of this because, in addition to the usual working from home challenges, there is worry in the air and potentially children at home too. Is yours a company that will come together, and support each other during a crisis?
What do your current internal communications look like? If your only answer is shouting questions from across the office, then it’s time to fix up and look sharp. Keeping connected is critical whether your team is remote, or all in the same room together. Of course, there are tools we can recommend to help you talk to each other, but the real reason we need to be able to communicate with our teams is for transparency. In this time of uncertainty, if your employees are kept in the loop (even if it’s to admit you don’t know what’s going to happen either), your team’s feelings of anxiety and instability will dissipate. Your team members will be concerned about their jobs, their health and that of their families.
Here are a few ideas to keep healthy office communications during the COVID crisis;
- Keep your entire team updated with daily meetings.
- Have a Q&A in case you miss something that an employee is concerned about.
- Speak to individuals as well as groups in case they feel they can’t communicate their concerns with the rest of the team.
- Be honest but tactful when it comes to job security – Your team will appreciate the truth which will help build mutual respect and trust.
- Get your team on board with ways you can navigate the COVID crisis. Don’t try to face this alone as the business owner.
- Get creative with comms – start an internal newsletter.
- Don’t just chat shop, figuring out how to keep the office banter alive online and on video is just as important.
The realities of remote teams
Lots of companies now have ‘working from home’ built into their work approach. Instead of it being a necessary evil, remote working can transform a business. There are many benefits, including:
Gives people and families the flexibility they need to manage work and family life. Right now, people need that flexibility, the schools are closing, and people need the space to react to the changing situation.
No commuting leaves you feeling fresh to start the day. Did you know workplace commutes contribute to absences?
Your team will be more productive – Fewer office distractions allow you to keep focused on the job in hand. A Stanford study found that work-from-home employees are more productive — by nearly a full day’s worth of work!
Management of health and wellbeing – With no commute and a little extra time on their hands, your employees can work out, meditate, or do whatever they need to achieve a better work-life harmony. This could also mean less sick days if you keep it up after COVID.
FlexJobs’ 2019 Super Survey found that 80% of employees would be more loyal if they had more flexible work options, including working from home. A magical thing happens when you give your team member more flexibility and trust; they become grateful. This gratefulness, in turn, becomes company loyalty. If you have a loyal team, your staff turnover goes down and your productivity goes up! It’s win-win.
Working from home is not for everyone but with a few sneaky tips and tricks, you can get your workforce back into action and maybe even working smarter than ever before. We will leave you with a few of our favourite tools to keep your team engaged and motivated when working from home.
Slack – Instead of a single overstuffed inbox, conversations in Slack happen in dedicated spaces called channels. It’s the best way to stay in touch with your teams throughout the day.
Monday – Cloud-based project management tools will save the day and your business. Instead of being on the phone every hour, use a tool like Monday where you can check in on the progress of all tasks and projects on your very beautifully designed dashboard.
Zoom – Video conferencing is the key to remote working. And yes, get your team to lose the video phobia because seeing each other’s faces will make a big difference to conversations and social isolation.
Google Docs – Collaborative working on cloud-based documents will transform the way you work with your teams. You’ll never go back to Microsoft Office again when you see what this can do.
Wetransfer – The saviour of big file moving.
HelloSign – The place to be when you need to get contracts signed without all the fuss of printing and scanning. It’s entirely legally binding too.