With COVID-19 having been declared as a “pandemic”, the world is experiencing a cultural shift in the way of working and doing business. According to the WHO, the spread of covid-19 can be slowed down by practicing “social distancing” by avoiding public spaces and limiting movement [https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/corona-simulator/].
This has led to invoking business continuity plans to allow employees to work from home. But, a larger truth about the modern workplace is not everyone can work from home. A lot of discussion is taking place around the concept of modern technologies like Business tools, Unified Communications and Video Conferencing for supporting distributed teams communicate and work effectively during this period of uncertainty.
Here are tips effectively managing and communicating with teams WFH and teams operating from offices.
If you have an option to work from home, we strongly advise you to do so. If not, here’s how you can work effectively:
- Define the tasks and goals of your team. Getting everyone on a team to aim for achieving the tasks and working together (remotely or otherwise) will increase the chances of your business succeeding.
- With a subset of your team working from home, one of the major aspects you quickly notice is the importance of communication. The best way to communicate with your team is video and audio conferencing
- Your team can use any of the tools like Zoom, MS Team, Skype or other such services for video and audio calls. Bring the team together at least once a day and make sure that everybody on the same page. The below-mentioned etiquettes should be helpful for an effective meeting;
- Assign a time to everyone before starting a conversation
- Listen without interrupting
- Ask short, open questions and encourage feedback & discussion
- Effective written communication is also an important part of working with remote teams. Use tools like annotations and whiteboard to get your point across clearly. This improves efficiency and avoids wasted time.
Tips to efficiently work from home
Working from the comfort of your own home can provide many benefits. But there are sizeable negatives that come along with it, like procrastination and distractions.
When you start working from home, it can feel very strange in the beginning. It can also be isolating, as you don’t have an easy way to reach everyone like in an office. Here are some tips to boost your productivity while working from home:
- Prioritize your work: Effective organization of tasks is imperative for successfully completing them while WFH. Create a list of tasks that you need to perform and assign them a priority. This will help you create a detailed timesheet to help manage your workload.
- Try the “90 Minute Focus Block” technique: This is where you take 90 minutes to focus on one massive task and then take a 30-minute break. Not only is the break more substantial, but this gives you the ability to get bigger tasks done easily.
- Daily sync: It is important to have daily or bi-daily calls with your team. Set an agenda, book a time slot and invite everyone. This routine will help to clear up the tasks, so that everyone is on the same page. It is important to set clear goals and to keep track of them.
You enjoy better productivity and less burnout.
Tips to reduce your risk of coronavirus infection at work:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – dispose the tissue immediately and wash hands.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough.
- Disinfect working area, equipment, meeting rooms at least once a day.
- Provide information and brief all employees and contract staff, including domestic and cleaning staff where applicable, on relevant information and procedures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
This is an unprecedented time for everyone — a time that, for many, is filled with uncertainty. Please be safe and stay healthy.