Last Fall our team packed up our office and moved out for six weeks as we went through a complete office renovation. We were anxious of moving out because we were used to a collaborative office environment. Fast forward to March 2020 and here we find ourselves again working from home, just as many other companies across the nation (and the world). For many companies, this can be a difficult adjustment. We wanted to share some of our lessons learned from last Fall and now. Our team put together 6 methods and habits that have been successful for our team as we navigate this new (hopefully short term) world. Stay safe and healthy, everyone!
1. Regroup as a team more than you usually would.
Being away from your team, especially if you’re not used to it, can take some adjusting. To keep up production (and possibly your sanity), schedule at least 1-2 regroup meetings per week. These meetings help you and your team catch up on important things in and away from the office. They also can be a lifeline to those that need help on projects.
2. Over-communicate with clients.
When your team is going through a change, such as working from home, it’s important to over-communicate with your clients right off the bat. This sets the expectation in case you hit some rocky spots during this adjustment period. Clients will also appreciate the added attentiveness.
3. Keep company culture active and morale high.
Working away from the office reduces the “water cooler” moments we enjoy when in the office together. It’s where we find out about each other’s families, share a favorite recipe, or find out what happened in the latest episode of Tiger King.
Utilize technology to elevate company culture when working from home. Some of our favorite ways to gather around the “water cooler” are:
4. Encourage your team to share work from home tips with each other.
Some people thrive working from their homes, but others may struggle. It’s important to be aware of that and provide resources for the employees who may need some hints and tips to succeed remotely. During team meetings, ask the team to share best practices that work for them. Create a common place to jot down what works for them for anyone in the company to access.
5. Welcome new employees to the whole team and 1-on-1s.
Working remotely can present a hurdle when adding members to the team. After a brief introduction of the new hire to everyone on a group call or video, schedule one-on-one meetings with each team member. These meetings can be less intimidating and offer the opportunity for the new hire to get to know the rest of the team better, faster.
6. Embrace the webcam.
There’s nothing quite like having a conversation in person, but when that’s not an option, the second-best method is through technology. Rather than relying solely on emails and phone calls, we recommend utilizing video calls as much as possible. Communicating face-to-face helps with confusion on conference calls and can be comforting in a time of isolation. Being able to see the person you are talking to helps you not miss visual cues, as well.