The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the world and changed how we do many things. One of those changes was transitioning to remote work. The percentage of employees working remotely prior to the pandemic was 30%, but now it’s 48%, and a majority of those workers want to keep working remotely even after the pandemic ends.
Remote work has proven to increase productivity and even morale in some cases, but only if it’s executed correctly. If you want to find success during these hard times, you need to find ways to collaborate with your team effortlessly, no matter where they’re working from.
Host Virtual Events
Before the pandemic started, you probably organized various activities in your company that promoted team building and collaboration such as team retreats or company game nights. But just because you can’t do those activities in person anymore doesn’t mean you can’t do them at all.
Since the start of the pandemic and the rise of video conferencing software, friends, families, and businesses have started to create interactive online experiences in the form of virtual events.
Event planners found ways to organize completely virtual events that create branded experiences and increase engagement. Of course, you can also organize a virtual event yourself and invite all of your employees to join in a virtual conference during which you can have online team-building activities.
There are many virtual event ideas that work great and the one you choose will depend on your team’s preferences and perhaps your business activities. As Hoppier puts it, a virtual event these days may feel like another mandatory meeting, so make sure you choose one that suits your employees’ personalities.
Hold Online Meetings Regularly
A meeting is the most efficient way of getting certain things done. Whether you need to brainstorm with your team, agree on certain goals, have strategic discussions, or anything similar, a face-to-face meeting is the best way to get everything out in the open and have all team members on the same page.
Everything that would call for an in-person meeting pre-pandemic can easily be done online now. The first thing you need to do is choose a video conferencing platform that allows you to start an online meeting room effortlessly. Ideally, one that doesn’t require software installation and offers mobile browser compatibility.
And once you’ve chosen your tool, all you need to do is pick a topic for discussion and schedule these meetings with enough notice for people to prepare.
Additionally, make sure someone is taking notes during every meeting so you wouldn’t need to visit the same topic multiple times. If someone isn’t comfortable with video calls, allow them to participate only through audio, but still encourage employees to participate in video calls for direct face-to-face communication.
Make Up For The Lack Of Human Interaction
As mentioned, there are many benefits to remote work, but one of the biggest drawbacks is the lack of human interaction. Approximately 20% of remote workers have struggled with loneliness that wasn’t present when they were able to have chats with their coworkers during the workday.
It’s impossible to resolve this issue completely, especially while practicing social distancing, but there are still ways you can help combat this loneliness virtually. Encourage your employees to talk with their colleagues virtually the same way they would if they were still sharing an office.
For instance, you can organize daily coffee breaks before or after work during which team members can chat with each other about what’s going on in their life. These should be completely voluntary, so try not to force anyone to participate.
Start Using Internal Messaging Tools
These tools gained popularity long before the pandemic started, but that’s not to say that every business in the world uses them. Some still use emails as a way of communication with team members, but email sometimes isn’t the best solution.
After all, your employees probably already get numerous emails from clients and customers, suppliers, and many other people every day, so they don’t want to have their inboxes filled up even more. That is why an internal messaging tool is ideal for remote businesses.
There are many internal messaging tools for you to choose from and make sure to discuss the different options for your team before you actually implement one. These tools are time savers as they allow for individual and group messages and some even come with document sharing options and other features.
Don’t Forget To Show Empathy
The transition to remote work isn’t something any of us expected. For some people, adjusting to this new way of conducting business is hard, especially if this is the first time they have to work from home.
It’s important for you to understand that there will be an inevitable learning curve, especially for older employees who may not be especially tech-savvy. And if you berate and criticize people who are having a hard time adjusting to this change, employee morale will plummet.
Instead, show empathy to all employees to make this learning curve less painful and assure them that you will be available to assist them with any transition issues they’re having.
Keep in mind that working conditions aren’t going to be ideal for everyone. A lot of your employees probably live with their families and have children that may be disruptive from time to time. This isn’t your employee’s fault, so have empathy in those situations as well.
A little compassion goes a long way, especially in a stressful time such as this one. So always be on the lookout for ways on how to motivate your team during remote work.
There’s no denying that remote work is here to stay, even after the pandemic finally passes. But just because you’re not sharing an office anymore doesn’t mean your collaboration needs to suffer. And with the tips you just learned, your team collaboration will only increase.