Teams are adapting to remote working - but it requires strong leadership and over-communication
It’s worth remembering that for people in their first jobs, working from home is alien to them, and a lot of people are living in share spaces where they’re unlikely to have a home office. This can be a bit uncomfortable and require a bit of adjusting to. As a business leader, you have the power to remain a consist, reliable manager by keeping daily rituals in place that will provide a sense of calm in an otherwise noisy world. Remember not to add to the noise: communicate what you know to be true and you’ll come out on top. It’s worth reshaping your culture slightly to match the pace at which you’re working now: give your teams permission to say “I don’t know” and “I’ve not had a chance to think about that yet” and remind them this is fine repeatedly.
You’re not communicating enough until you’re being told to stop
Assuming everyone gets the message will only lead to mistakes being made. Until your team are all telling you “I’ve heard this before” or “you’ve told me that already”, keep going. It might give you a bit of a headache, but rest assured that your teams will value it in the long-run. It’s still early days, so chances are that not many people are feeling disconnected yet, but put these processes in place to build positive habits that will keep everyone feeling part of the team for as long as possible.
Staying connected while isolated isn’t hard, it just looks different
Morning stand ups over Zoom, playing games on Teams, having an office banter channel on Slack, organising coffee/water cooler sessions over a video conferencing chat and booking regular 1-2-1 FaceTimes with your direct reports are things that are going to make all the difference at the moment. Facetime (literally) is so important right now. Even in our morning stand ups, it’s easy to get a feel of the general mood across the team. I recommend gallery view - it’s the closest thing I’ve found to having us all sat around a table!
You’re nailing remote working, now let’s talk flexi-time
Lots of companies are still sticking to the usual 9am-5pm but this may need to change as and when people do start feeling sick, disconnected or run down. As much as we all hate timesheets, in a time like this, where the 9am-5pm may start to be less relevant, or when people are finding themselves needing more longer, regular breaks throughout the day to either rest or switch off for a period of time, tools like Toogl will be a godsend to help people keep track of the hours they are and aren’t working. To facilitate this communicate why you’re opting for flexible hours and explain this is for people’s health. They can absolutely do their normal working hours, but this gives your people the chance to put themselves first when they feel they need to.
Do everything in your power to find some zen
First thing’s first: stop working in your bedroom. We’ve been making jokes at home (I live in a shared flat of four!) that our living room is turning into a co-working space, which we’ve all loved to laugh about but have gone one step further to set some basic ground rules to keep us all mentally fit, feeling positive and to avoid snapping at each other. No telly, headphones in if you want to listen to Spotify or the radio and if you need to make a call, pop into the kitchen. Little things to ensure that our bedrooms are spaces for rest and recuperation, no laptops allowed!