During the last few weeks of WFH you’ve likely found a routine that allows you to be productive in your career while avoiding physical contact. As you get into that groove, one of the things that you likely won’t be able to replicate is the office culture and comradery. Don’t get me wrong, while your dogs might make great co-woofers, it’s completely normal to be craving that human connection. So how do you build that while staying productive? We’ve rounded up some of our favorite tips you can try to promote solidarity within your company while still staying safe.
Check-In with Each Other
Make time to check in with your colleagues a couple of times a week. Whether it’s a quick IM, a video call or phone check-in, turn an exchange that would normally be an email chain conversation into something more personable. A large percentage of how we communicate with one another is non-verbal. This aspect of the conversation is lost through exclusively written communication and often causes misinterpretation of the intended message to be conveyed. Unfortunately, face to face communication currently is not as easy as simply poking your head into your co-worker’s cubicle. Try to be proactive in scheduling those face-to-face exchanges ahead of time. Social interaction is key in maintaining a healthy, remote, working environment.
Stay Connected with Existing Tools
By this point in many stay at home orders, we imagine you’re basic knowledge of technological tools at your disposal has expanded beyond what you would’ve ever imagined a month ago. Whatever your companies preferred tools are, use them to their fullest to stay connected. Perhaps your company uses Skype messaging feature in the office then now is the time to exploit the video chat feature. The additional benefit to using tools your company supports is that if you are having trouble navigating these tools, you can reach out to your company’s IT team. They will be able to access your computer remotely and fix whatever problem you are experiencing or possibly show you how to do something you are struggling with.
Schedule One-On-One Time with Your Manager
It is important to keep up your communication and rapport with your boss while working remotely. It may feel awkward asking for time with them because most likely they are busier now than ever before. Keep in mind this interaction is promoting the seamlessness of the company operating remotely. Be proactive in your scheduling and make time once a week to check in with your supervisors. If you engaged in a weekly meeting while in the office, continue this practice while working from home. Keeping open communication with your boss will help you stay on track and make sure both you and your manager are on the same page moving forward.
Maintain Non-Work Related Interactions
Non-work related interactions amongst your company might seem like the last priority right now, but in times like these people need to feel like a unit, and have fun while doing so. Facilitating non-work interactions amongst remote workers helps them relieve stress and feel connected to one another. Does your office regularly meet in the kitchen or around the water cooler in the morning? Leave 15 minutes in the morning to catch up as an office and chit chat virtually! Another way to connect is to implement this is to host a virtual happy hour or video team-building exercise. You might also consider scheduling a couple of extra minutes in your weekly video call to catch up with one another. Team-building activities play a large roll in the success and happiness of employees. These activities do not need to stop just because employees are not physically meeting with one another.
As we continue to navigate these unprecedented times right now, figuring out what works for you and your company might take a few weeks of trial and error. Once you find a routine that succeeds in promoting solidarity amongst your team, stick with it. Working remotely can be challenging. Speak up if you are struggling! Ultimately, It will be the best thing for you and your company.