Home-working: staying in touch with colleagues!

Whilst it might seem a little strange, home-working, if done right, can genuinely boost team spirit! Yes, indeed, we’re not physically together so we do miss our colleagues when they’re not with us, but it’s important to keep in touch with each other, for the wellbeing of others, as well as your own.

So, as we have no choice but to work from home right now, how do we continue to be a team?

KEEP THOSE SOCIAL TIES!

Remember to say ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ to everyone when logging in and out; it is the easiest way to stay in touch! You could also add:

  • A ‘thought of the day’
  • A funny meme or gif to help make people laugh
  • A cheerful emoji

Did you have a team coffee break to kick off the day when you were working in the office? You don’t have to give it up; you just need a schedule, a webcam and… coffee! Many teams have already started doing this, daily or once a week.

As the day progresses, why not send a friendly message on WhatsApp? It is a great way to stay in touch. Just like when you were in the office, why not share something like:

  • Funny jokes
  • Ideas for keeping children occupied during video conferences
  • Tips and tricks to boost wifi signal
  • Banana bread recipes

ARRANGE TEAM MEETINGS

When working at home, much of our well-being relies on our ability to disconnect from work properly. That can be hard to do if we keep socialising with work colleagues outside of work, as it dips into our privacy. Set boundaries, so you don’t always feel you are still at work.

As an idea for lunch, why not join each other for a team lunch, but via webcam?

Many workers already make a Friday social event by having a video chat to celebrate the end of the week. It is an opportunity to decompress together and share some team-spirit. Whether you choose to talk about what you’re going to be doing at the weekend or discuss the week you’ve all had, keep it light and enjoy the time connecting.

LEARN NEW THINGS ABOUT YOUR TEAM

Home-working can also provide an opportunity to learn new things about your colleagues. All you need is an internet connection; the rest is up to you and your team! Why not:

  • Take part in online games together – quizzes are a great way to have fun with the team
  • Organise online challenges, you could decorate your home office space, maybe even get the kids involved to keep them busy
  • Setup a post-morning meeting for 30 minutes of training, or a relaxation exercise, to start the day in good shape

ORGANISE YOUR EMAILS

Home-working inevitably creates a higher volume of emails. Emails have replaced quick chats across desks, or conversations in hallways.

We should take care to address our messages directly, rather than copy in everyone, and flood mailboxes. Your email client can help you make emails more efficient. It’s possible to program your mailbox to receive only messages which are important to you. Use tools like Spark App to improve your workflow.

ZOOM FOR REMOTE MEETINGS

Most companies already had remote working solutions available to us. Microsoft’s Teams, Skype and Webex are well known. You can also try Zoom – it is available as a free download and can manage meetings with up to 1000 participants. Another option for less formal meetings is Houseparty, a great tool for sharing fun times with the team by playing games.

GROUP WORK VIA GOOGLE DRIVE 

Home-working did not start with the Coronavirus! You have probably already heard of Google Drive, but with home-working, it is a great tool. Google Drive is now 100% online and an excellent way to send and share files. With Google Drive, you can work with others simultaneously on Word, Excel or PowerPoint. We bet it’s a habit that you will retain once you get back to the office.

There are 1001 ways to keep in touch with your colleagues when home-working. There isn’t a shortage of ideas, and some great technology available.

Find all you need to help you work from home at Manutan UK here

 

Thomas Hewitt