How To Stay Connected While Working Remotely
With further lockdowns and stricter restrictions planned for the first quarter of the year, we want to remind you about the importance of communication even while remote working. For most of us, work isn’t just about crunching numbers, it’s a part of our social lives. 40% of staff in a recent survey said the social interactions, their colleagues and chit chat around the office are what they miss most about office life. While the novelty of weekly video quizzes may have passed, it’s still so important to stay connected even while working remotely. Here are some of our best tips to remind you how to keep in touch with your team.
Open the Lines Of Communication
After a lifetime of working in an office, leaning on colleagues for support, advice and in some cases counselling, working from home can be very lonely. Individuals may feel disconnected from their workplace and isolated with little communication with the outside world. Maintaining regular contact and leaving your (virtual) office door open for casual chats with colleagues and employees helps to foster a sense of team spirit and gives staff a chance to voice any concerns or challenges they are facing with a sympathetic ear to listen.
Make Time for Breaks
Working hard is important but break times are just as vital to the smooth running of any business. Encourage workers to take time away from their PCs, preferably at the same time each day so their colleagues know they are uncontactable during their scheduled break times. Remember that while working from home, we face a different set of challenges such as homeschooling, decreased concentration and the general interruptions that come with daily life meaning our work often runs past the usual 9-5. You are entitled to your rest time and refueling means we can work better for longer.
Most of us are missing the chats and the camaraderie of office life. We miss meeting people from other departments and hearing stories about their holidays or family lives. Encourage friendships and future workplace relationships by scheduling a daily ‘water-cooler’ call with your team, mimicking the few minutes chat in the canteen you would have looked forward to in your physical workplace. No work chat should be allowed in these 15-minutes chats and it should be an optional meeting with no obligation to attend and no questions asked if you don’t. You could even make it a bit more interesting by adopting a word of the day to keep people engaged.
As a team leader or a colleague, you can minimise feelings of loneliness and isolation by having more one-to-one chats. Your colleagues should know that they can pick up the phone at any time for a chat, and not just when there is a problem. You can ask your employees to check in with you every day if they feel the need, or once a week if they prefer. Your team doesn’t know what you’re working on or how busy you are so an ignored email may make them feel unappreciated and undervalued. A quick return email takes a few extra seconds but may make a colleague feel a lot better.
Have a post-work drink
Video calls don’t have to just be for work. They can be for having a 15-minute coffee, eating lunch, dinner or even an after-work drink. You can keep all your social interactions the same as before – they just look slightly different now. Even if you have never had a drink together in real life, scheduling a post-work drink on a Friday can be a great team-building exercise. Not only does it encourage staff to finish on time before heading into the weekend, it also allows us to debrief, talk about non-work topics and wind down after a busy week. It’s also important to mark special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and leaving parties as you would have before.
Flexible working (a combination of remote and office working) is predicted to become the new normal in the future. What’s clear is that not everybody feels the same way about it and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Give your business and your staff the flexibility they need when you enjoy a short term let with one of Premier Business Centres variety of serviced offices. We offer a range of services from virtual offices to office space in Dublin and Kildare. Call or email us to learn more.