As COVID-19 continues to keep people around the world working remotely, it’s becoming crucial that we work together to help our teams feel as connected as possible. With social distancing and stay at home orders in place, it’s easy for many to feel isolated and disconnected from the rest of the world. To help you and your organization navigate these challenging times, we’ve created a checklist to help you prepare for success while working remotely.
Find a quiet space or room in your home where you can work, with minimal distractions. If you’re somewhere with background distractions, there are tools available to blur out background noise to keep your teammates focused, such as those available with Microsoft Teams.
Your daily routine has shifted quite a lot over the course of the last few weeks, in fact, it may look very different than it did during your time in the office. Today you may be balancing childcare, schooling and work, all at the same time, or even taking a day off to recoup from all the changes that have taken place. Talking to your team about your schedule ahead of time lets them know when to reach out to you or good times to schedule meetings that work around your changing roles.
The way the workday is set up has shifted tremendously. There likely is no morning and afternoon commute making it harder to unplug when the workday has ended. To set yourself up for success, create a work structure ensuring that you give yourself scheduled breaks throughout the day, for example, allow yourself one regular lunch session and two 15-minute breaks throughout the day. And when the day has ended, give yourself the opportunity to “clock out” from work and refrain from sending emails and making calls into the night. Strive to create some sense of normalcy and focus your attention on your personal life.
Since there is no physical meeting space, make sure all meetings have a dial-in or virtual "join" option so that team members can attend from wherever they are working. Make sure all meetings include a virtual “join” option so that team members can join from wherever they are working. Turn video on so your team can interact face-to-face and feel more connected.
At the start of each meeting, ask if you can record the session so that team members who are unable to join can watch at a later time or reference after the fact. Doing this allows your team to easily review anything they may have missed or needed to be repeated. Additionally, if you are missing out on that face-to-face communication, opt for a video call instead.
Working from home can make you feel disconnected from your team members, no longer are you able to pop over to their cubicle to say “hi” or chat while waiting for your morning coffee to brew. During this time, make up for missing hallway talk and be intentional about connecting with one another. Set a reminder to check in with your coworkers on a regular basis, use virtual chats to send a quick note and just keep the relationships going by way of virtual messages.
Encourage your team to engage in fun activities and office challenges to keep up that sense of office moral. Host your monthly potluck via a video chat, have daily check-ins over a virtual coffee session, or hold a weekly happy hour, whatever it may be, find different ways to (virtually) connect the team the same as you would in the office.