With a massive percentage of businesses continuing to work from home, this is no longer a disaster recovery measure, but a complete change to the way we work. With this in mind, if you’ve been plodding along with staff having little communication between them, and not working effectively as a team, then now is the time to change that. Looking after your mental health when you work alone and from home is so important, and that lack of connection with others has a huge impact on that. Here are some ideas to get the conversation and ideas flowing.
This is probably an obvious one, but many businesses still don’t have the technology in place to have video calls with colleagues or clients. A video call makes a virtual meeting far more personal and seeing the whites of someone’s eyes really helps you to understand how they’re feeling. Having a weekly catch-up with colleagues who you no longer see, even if it’s not all work chat, can really help people feel more included. And why not make it fun? A friend of Cranberry who has quite a serious role in their organisation decided to wear a different hat or wig every week for her Friday morning video call with colleagues. It certainly raised a smile!
Technology can help us further, with many telephony solutions offering collaboration. Where previously you would have sat around a computer or in front of a whiteboard in the office, collaboration allows you to share your screen - demonstrate something to colleagues or clients, ask for help with an IT issue or take a look at a document together. Basic tools such as conference calls and team chat can also be really helpful for quick conversations and to help people feel included. Cranberry have some great options available, allowing you to bring your team closer together while you’re in different locations.
Rent a space
If you’ve ditched your office but still feel the need to get staff together every once in a while, renting an office space could be a great option. Many hotels and other organisations offer this set up and can provide internet access and other fantastic amenities (you might even get to use the hotel pool or gym while you’re there!). With a Cloud telephony solution, you could even take your office phones and plug them in, so you don’t miss any important business calls. This opportunity for a regular face to face catch up might be the boost some staff need whilst working at home.
Your colleagues might not even live geographically close together these days, but you can still set some team activities to get everyone together virtually. Quiz nights have become infamous over lockdown, and your staff may enjoy something like this to get together socially. Cranberry decided to set our staff a team challenge over the winter lockdown. With a couple of keen runners among the team, we decided to run, walk, cycle, scoot and swim to Portugal and back as a team, including all family members. It was a fantastic way to keep everyone active in the cold weather, whilst sticking to the lockdown rules. When the challenge was complete, staff had a little treat to look forward to. Although we couldn’t physically do the challenge together, a little healthy competition between us was good fun.
It’s time to re-think how you work. Check in with your staff regularly and stay connected. Happy staff are more productive staff!