How to Keep Your Team Connected and Productive Whilst Working Remotely
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a massive change in the way many businesses are operating, with millions being encouraged to work from home to promote social distancing. While some employees are used to working remotely, the majority of the global workforce is trying to adjust to this new working pattern.
We all know that when people work from home, there’s more room for distraction and fewer ways to engage and interact with colleagues. Add self-isolation to the mix and you risk your team being far less productive.
In order to deal with the challenges of working from home, as an IT manager or business owner, you need to experiment with new ways to collaborate and manage your employees. You need to enable more ways to connect and interact with them so that workflow isn’t disrupted and productivity is maintained, or even exceeded.
At Redpalm, we have put together a list of 6 ways to stay connected and be more productive whilst working from home.
Let’s take a look!
Provide Your Team With the Necessary Productivity and Tech Tools
This is a no-brainer. If you want your team to be productive when working from home, it is important to equip them with the necessary tools and resources. Make use of project management applications like S Trello and Asana, messaging applications like Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts and Slack, and video conferencing applications like Zoom and Skype for Business.
Ensure that your remote team has the necessary tools, web technology and security that enables both employees and managers to stay connected at all times. Make sure that you have the required tools for cybersecurity in place so that your work processes are safe from potential digital threats.
Help Employees Set Up Work From Home Technology
When working from home, being able to access the right technology and software with reliable IT support and infrastructure is key to staying connected. A good set up including a laptop or computer, a phone, good WiFi connection and a webcam are the essentials of working from home productively. If you have the budget, it would be highly beneficial to offer financial help to employees to purchase the necessary equipment.
If your own IT team is struggling with increased demand during the lockdown, find out more about our managed IT support service to maintain a smooth workflow.
Make Daily Check-Ins the Norm
Establishing a daily check-in routine will go a long way in maintaining focus on key tasks, as well as fostering connectivity between business managers and their teams. A daily check-in via instant messaging, phone call or video chat can help everyone adjust to the new normal. Depending on the scope of your work schedule and business process, these check-ins can be done individually or within a small group. The productivity tools mentioned above will come in handy here.
Be Responsive, Approachable and Accountable
When you work from home, conducting face to face meetings with your team isn’t possible. Since your teammates aren’t around, the impulse to just sink into your couch and binge-watch series on Netflix is ever-present. This is why being accountable for your productivity and completing your daily tasks is very important. You may be working from home but you are still responsible and accountable for your work.
As an IT manager or business owner, it’s important to reassure your team that you are being productive while working from home. Lead by example! Each time you respond to an email or a message quickly, or proactively set up meetings and calls, you reinforce the same spirit with your team.
Offer Emotional Support
Working from home can be lonely with your employees missing out on their proverbial water cooler chats. As an employer, you should do whatever you can to provide the necessary emotional support to keep team spirits high. As a leader, you will be responsible to set the tone of enthusiasm in your virtual workplace with your upbeat ideas and presence. You can do your bit to create a work environment that’s level-headed, motivated and productive.
For most companies, remote working is uncharted territory so team managers should try to be more available as employees can be dealing with work situations that are unfamiliar. As an added effort, leaders should encourage self-care among their teams who are trying to come to terms with remote working, and the stress and anxiety of COVID-19.
Encourage your employees to eat and sleep well, exercise, meditate and carry on with their lives as normally as they can.
Take Into Account Team Building Activities and Non-Work Interactions
This might not be that obvious, but as a business, you must urge your managers and team leaders to give shop talk a rest and facilitate non-work interactions. Set some time aside for your employees to talk about new hobbies, family and other things- just like they would with their colleagues in the office. This will help to bind your team together as employees feel better connected in the virtual workplace.
Why not reserve a few minutes right before or after your video conferences begin so that people can catch up? You can also look into hosting virtual team-building exercises to further lighten the mood.
Contact Redpalm for Managed IT Support and Cyber Security
When working from home, there is an increased chance that your business network is exposed to cyber attacks. It is therefore important to ensure that the technical end of your business is as robust as it can be. With Redpalm, you can achieve this security along with the necessary tech support and advice.
We offer IT support and business cyber attack recovery for clients across the UK, primarily focusing on Northampton, London, Milton Keynes, Leicester, Peterborough and Warwick.
Get in touch with us today, to find out how you can make your business more secure and well protected from digital threats.