What was once just a kitchen has now become a desk. Drinks shared on a patio are now divided over video. Over the past few months, so much has changed; the pandemic has touched all of us in one way or another. The presence of COVID-19 has become a change accelerant, prompting organizations to be agile when there is no option but change.
With differing opinions abounding, there is no perfect prediction of what 2020 will look like. However, we do know that many businesses will need to continue to adapt to find success. For corporate teams, much of this year will take place remotely. In some cases, permanently as with Twitter’s recent announcement.
Working from home 24/7 will bring challenges for almost everyone. The amount of change you experience will be dependent on your previous ability to work from home. If you never had that option, it can seem tempting to only set up shop on your couch and plow through the day. However, the following tips are easy ways to ensure that your communication, productivity, and home office environment stay top-notch.
– Daily Standups can be a helpful way to add more cohesion to your team. They can be canceled if unnecessary but can provide a solution to the lack of organic “drive-by” conversations that happen in an office setting.
– Video Conferences are the new “face to face,” allowing for emotional expression through more than just words. If your team is hesitant to commit to this, suggest doing at least 1-2 meetings a week in this manner to measure the effect.
– Check-In with your team often; building rapport with teams this way is undoubtedly slower than in-person but is invaluable in bonding with team members in 100% remote environment.
– Transparency is critical with remote working. Communicate frequently and speak to the challenges that a new office environment brings. Being open and honest will set the stage for building a trusting relationship that is essential for remote teams.
– Setup Meetings to ensure accountability. If you are struggling with maintaining focus and losing track of goals, meetings can help ensure that you have the measures in place to hold yourself accountable to deadlines.
– Ergonomics are essential for a workforce bent over their computer all day. With the move to online, employees are now looking down more than ever. Encourage your team to raise their monitors to eye level, order a mouse, and invest in an ergonomic keyboard.
– Move during the day! Whatever your work environment looks like, be sure to stretch throughout the day and set aside time to break a sweat. Also, taking a few minutes to sit in the sunshine can help ensure your circadian rhythms stay in sync to prepare you for a good night’s rest.
– Office Appearance is still a thing. While working from home is an excellent opportunity to decorate and fill the space with what you love, be mindful of what others see in your video conference. Cleaning up your area is vital to remember when you are presenting to a client who prefers spartan office backgrounds.
– Designating Zones can be helpful to promote focus in your new home office. Even if you live in a small apartment or are working from an improvised desk, designating “zones” for different activities can help your mind click into gear.
– New Colleagues like your spouse or pet are fun, but be sure to take the proper measures when you are about to present. If you and your roommate are working in a close environment, communicate when you need dedicated quiet time to focus or present without any background noise. Placing yourself on mute is another consideration to remember if the other person will be making noise.
Our way of working, living, and loving has changed. Let’s better ourselves for it – not striving for perfection but instead striving for trustworthy productivity and a healthy presence of mind during a time that calls for resilience amongst already busy lives.
For more ideas on helping your team adjust to a changing environment, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.