COVID-19 has changed a lot of things for many people. Family gatherings are now only with those from the same household, toilet paper is worth more than gold and brunch with the girlfriends is a thing of the past.
But society is adapting. We are becoming savvier with technology and finding new ways to function – you only have to look as far as the development of the HouseParty app to see this (by the way, we’re a big fan!).
So how do we bring this technology to the workplace and stay close as a team, despite being physically far, far removed? It is all about keeping engaged and adapting to what is now considered to be our ‘new normal’.
The first thing to remember is that COVID-19 isn’t the start of working from home; many people were already doing this well before the virus and will continue to do so once we are out of self-isolation. Once you remind yourself of this you can get creative!
Try and forget that you aren’t in the same room as your team members and think about how you would go about your normal day… and amplify it. This is the time to try new things and change up your regular go-to approaches when working as a team.
Here are some tips that can help you feel close and stay connected are:
Host regular team calls
Up the ante with your communication! We are all limited by the number of people that we can physically see at this time, but we all crave human contact. Have regular team check-ins and make them fun to keep things interesting! Think of themes (e.g. on Wednesday we wear pink) or encourage everyone to have their pet on the call and of course, don’t forget team drinks on a Friday! Your team will appreciate being able to use others as a soundboard.
Don’t isolate yourself
Just because you are now working from home on your own, doesn’t mean your team can’t help you as they would do if you were in the office. If you would normally walk to your colleagues’ desk to brainstorm a campaign, adjust your approach and instead video call them to chat it through or suggest you have a virtual lunch to bounce ideas off each other. There is only a screen between you, the support and knowledge are still the same!
Take time out
Our recreational space has now also become our working space, and this can sometimes blur the lines. Make sure you are keeping a routine, so your work schedule doesn’t take over your home life and vice versa. Set aside time in your day (e.g. early morning or lunch) for you so when it is time to work you are present for the team. Take a walk, do some exercise or read a book – anything that lets you take time away from your screen, so you come back refreshed and ready to motivate everyone else!
But, the most important thing to remember is to keep talking. You don’t need to be within the same four walls to work cohesively as a team, you just need to communicate!
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