Businesses worldwide are actively taking actions to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. This, in turn, has shifted businesses into work from home situations.
Unfortunately, this is not a one size fits all application to all industries. Over two-thirds of the American population alone is unable to work remotely, especially the healthcare professionals who are bravely working in the field during this time.
For the one-third who are able to take advantage of working from the convenience of their home, a new reality has emerged. Yes, of course there are some perks like using what would have been your hour commute to catch some extra zzz, but there are also challenges in productivity and all around well-being.
Terry Foster Consulting has been a remote-friendly agency for almost 3 years with teammates spanning a multitude of states and countries, so we have most certainly learned our share when it comes to remote interaction.
In this article, I am going to touch on some tips for productively working from home.
Share Daily Check-Ins With Your Team
At Terry Foster Consulting, everyone notifies one another when they are online or have signed off for the evening. We have found it incredibly useful to be aware of when each individual is available especially when attempting to work together across various time zones.
You can even take it a step further and include updates on what project or task you have in motion so it’s clear what is active. Helpful platforms include Slack and Zoom to conduct these.
Communicate Frequently No Matter How Small
It’s easy for participation to become lost when everyone is working remotely. You want to encourage engagement with conversation threads ensuring to tag people relevant to the conversation or if via email making sure all parties are included in the to or cc section.
Always consider the message you want to convey. If it is rather complex, consider using a platform such as Loom to record and share quick tutorials to save you the exhausting steps of writing out instructions.
Schedule Weekly Pulse Meetings
When you have a core group of people you work with daily it’s very easy for assignments to become lost in the sauce. Having a weekly pulse meeting not only ensures projects are on track, but also aids in strategic planning.
Use the Video Function for Conference Calls
Interpersonal relationships are built and focus is stronger when everyone has the video feature turned on during a conference call. To maximize the best use of our conference calls, we ensure to create an itemized agenda, everyone has an invite the proper Zoom link, and allot time for Q & A to ensure all parties have a clear understanding from the meeting.
Block Time to Socially Chat with Co-Workers
You would be amazed how much more enjoyable your job becomes when actually like the people you work with. That means taking out the team to make your own “break room” chat with your colleagues to discover similar interests and overall bonding outside of general work chatter.
Create A Dedicated Non-Work Chat Space
This works particularly well in Slack where you can create a dedicated channel for your team to chat about anything other than work. This is a great camaraderie builder and can be about any range of topics you like for example, mindset, dinner recipes, sports, and even can be fun social challenges.
Protect Your Mind and Body
Yes that extra hour of sleep sounds absolutely amazing but working from home can find yourself in a rut if you do not discipline yourself into a routine. Here are some ways to avoid that:
- Create a dedicated work space in your home.
- Set defined work hours and actually stick to them.
- Step outside on your porch and get some fresh air.
- Take screen breaks.
Just because you work remotely doesn’t mean productivity or a team culture can’t happen. All you have to do is make some minor adjustments to your daily work routine and an efficient and engaged remote team is possible!