The evolving COVID-19 situation has changed every aspect of our lives, and with everyone working remotely from home, our working lives have been turned upside down. Information overload is abound with posts about strategies to help us all cope and be more productive while staying at home and practicing social distancing.
We’d like to take this opportunity to stress the importance of social distancing as a powerful strategy for slowing the rate of infections, and reducing the strain on our healthcare system. Being physically distant from our friends, family and colleagues is hard and staying connected is more important than ever during this time, both on a personal level and for our work teams. Maintaining a level of connectedness within your team is integral in ensuring a continued level of engagement and productivity, plus your organization will be stronger for it in the end.
How to keep your team connected while everyone’s working remotely:
1. Consistent, scheduled communication:
Working from home comes with plenty of distractions, which means less time to complete tasks, often resulting in less time dedicated to communication. It goes without saying that keeping a consistent communication schedule helps make team communication a priority by, if anything, putting it in your schedule. Effectively communicating with your team is the foundation of every successful team; now that you’re not all sitting next to each other, make a habit of scheduling time to discuss tasks, projects, goals and concerns.
2. Pick up the phone:
Tools like email, Slack or other messaging services are great, but just like a text message can easily be misinterpreted, so can these messages and that misinterpretation could quickly lead to lost productivity. If you need to clearly and effectively discuss something, especially if it’s time sensitive, pick up the phone and call your colleagues. In addition to being a more effective means of communication, it adds a personal touch. Take it to the next level with a video chat … don’t worry about your hair!
3. Be there for each other, regardless of your physical distance:
We’re navigating uncharted waters right now, and it’s natural to be fearful of the unknown. With every aspect of our lives being changed, it’s important for team leaders and organizational leaders to use their positions of power to show their teams that they care for them as people, and not just as colleagues. Ensure that everyone on your team feels comfortable with openly communicating their concerns, ensure that they’re familiar with the health and wellness tools and resources available to them, and maybe send them a funny email or something else to break up the constant influx of depressing news.
These are tough times we’re living though, and with so many changes to our daily lives, it’s important to focus on some of the simple things that we can control, that will keep us grounded, and that will not only help us get through this time, but allow us to be successful.
Stay safe, stay healthy and stay connected!