How to stay connected while working from home

Subject: How to stay connected while working from home
From: Lena Hemsworth
Date: 26 Oct 2020

Communicate at All Cost

Communication between management and staff is integral to any business. All the more so if you are managing a remote team. Remote workers need to have access to the latest information to do their job right. To keep them informed, you and your employees have to communicate at all costs. The easiest way to keep communication alive is through daily updates and check-ins. They are incredibly useful because the management can keep employees up to date with the latest information regarding projects or organization in general. Similarly, they are the perfect opportunity for employees to ask questions or express any concerns they might have.

Use All the Tools You Can

Staying connected is essential when working remotely. Your employees might get distracted by family commitments, lose focus, and team spirit. That is why you and your team should use all tools you can to stay connected. Therefore, don’t shy away from investing in modern and advanced technology. Whether those tools are for task or project management, internal communications , activity tracking, it doesn’t matter. What matters is how much they help you to connect all your remote workforce and keep them close regardless of all their distance. Still, investing in top-notch tools isn’t enough. You should encourage your employees to use them on a daily basis and keep their team spirit high.

Start a New Tradition

When employees work in an office, they have their usual daily rituals and traditions. Just because your employees work from home doesn’t mean those rituals are gone. Quite the contrary, they need them now more than ever. For this reason, encourage them to start a new virtual and remote tradition. Most companies have been practicing virtual Happy Hours, coffee, or lunch breaks which have caught on ever since. Remote workers agree on a specific time every day to have a conference call, enjoy their coffee and each other’s company. In between business meetings, they get to catch up, chat, and relax. Similarly, they organize virtual Happy Hours, let’s say, every Friday when they have drinks like they normally would but this time in the virtual world. Your employees can do the same. Starting and practicing a new tradition will help them bond and stay connected even when telecommuting.

Make Meetings More Interesting

Meetings are a vital part of any business. Most employees think of them as boring, time-consuming, and dull. It gets worse when you hold meetings with a remote team. They can open dozens of tabs in their browser, watch TV in their room, or watch stories on Instagram on their phones. Holding a meeting in which no one participates other than you is a real waste of time. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can make meetings more interesting. Here is an idea. Why don’t you turn the meeting into a brainstorming activity? Present your team with a complex problem to solve. Let them brainstorm and come up with the most creative solution. You can also let them throw out not only good but also bad ideas as well. When you turn a meeting into a game, you will get everyone to participate and have fun.

Increase Accountability

Just because your team works remotely doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be accountable for their actions. Now more than ever, meeting deadlines and delivering great work is important. To make sure everyone is on the same page, assign roles, set and share expectations with your employees, and increase accountability. Moreover, their individual goals should align with your business objectives. As a result, they will be more motivated to achieve them within the given time frame.

Recognize Efforts

Employees like to have their efforts recognized. It makes them feel valued and appreciated. When your employees work from home, their efforts can easily go unnoticed. As a manager, you spend your time thinking about other equally important aspects, and you can’t monitor their work from afar. However, you can still make an effort to value and recognize all the hard work they put in day in day out. To help you out with a recognition system, you can pick out some team members to keep an eye on their coworkers and their efforts. When they think someone deserves a shout out for a job well done, they can use the communication channel to celebrate their achievements with everyone. A simple shout out may not be much, but it is enough to make an employee feel special and motivated.

Show Support

While some may thrive working remotely, others can’t adapt to such a huge transition. For this reason, you have to be supportive and encourage others to show support as well. If they notice a coworker has trouble adjusting to the new work regime, they should help them find their way and embrace the change. Maybe they live by themselves and don’t have a close friend to help them out. You can also create a casual chat room where employees can motivate each other and boost their morale. Besides, it can be their special virtual place that they can use to blow off some steam, chat, and unwind whenever they need to.