Booking in weekly team catch ups can keep everyone connected. Keeping in regular contact is the key thing and adapting the communications style to meet different personality types. You may wish to try having a daily ‘stand-up’ or morning call scheduled where each person has a couple of minutes to share what they did yesterday, what they are doing today, and getting blockers raised. This helps build collaboration and interaction between the team members. Take time to understand your team’s working patterns. Show understanding and flexibility. And look after your own wellbeing - you need to be engaged to engage your team!
1. Tips for staying connected with your team
2. Have regular check-ins with your manager
When working from home it’s worth scheduling regular check-ins with your manager if it’s feasible. This ensures that there is an allotted time where you can raise concerns, give feedback, review goals and generally catch up. Importantly, touching base frequently can help to keep you and your manager feeling connected. Weather permitting, why not go for a walk together on the phone – or wander round the garden to top up on your vitamin D while having your catch ups. Getting fresh air can give you a break and keep you energised.
3. Connect with colleagues
Why not have a daily team call or video call to help you feel more connected? Where possible, it’s good to make time for some social chat during team meetings. Or you might want to buddy up. You could ask your manager to allocate team buddies or find a buddy yourself. It can help to have someone to share things with, and you can support each other over a tea or coffee.
4. Have fun
One idea to lift your team’s spirits and have a bit of fun is with light-hearted competitions. How about a weekly quiz or bingo, or even a daily lunchtime trivia quiz? Or perhaps a photo or baking challenge? Throw in some prizes. Ask questions and get your team talking and sharing what they’ve been up to.
5. Think about phoning rather than emailing
Sending emails are a necessary part of all our working environments, to the point that many of us use it as the primary method of communication, both with clients and stakeholders, and also our colleagues. Especially with the colleagues we normally share an office space with, it can be a little impersonal - perhaps next time you’re writing that email, think ‘can this be done via a quick call?’ If so, it’s a perfect excuse for a bit of personal interaction.
Working effectively from home
For many of us, homeworking has been a relatively new concept. Added to that, we’ve had the emotional turmoil of adapting to a new way of living and the anxiety that change and uncertainty brings. That’s why it’s important to create stability and routine where we can, to limit distractions and create a productive and satisfying work environment. Here are some suggestions on how you could get the most out of working from home, which you may find useful.
1. Create a daily routine
Create and stick to a daily routine. Research shows that individuals with a strong morning routine are more likely to maintain a positive outlook throughout the day and achieve what they’ve set out to do. It might be tempting to stay up late and roll out of bed ten minutes before you start work, but the novelty will soon wear off and you won’t feel on top of your game. Keep a regular sleep pattern if you can and make the most of the extra time you now have in the morning. Make yourself a nice breakfast, go for a walk, sit in the garden, read, maybe learn something new. Create a distinction between your ‘me’ time and your working day.
You might find that creating a ritual, such a walk around the block and re-entering your home, becomes the determining point at which your workday officially begins. Set objectives or write a to-do list at the start of the day or even the night before, to give you some focus.
“To Change the World, Start by Making Your Bed”
Naval Admiral William McRaven, the commander of U.S Special Operations, said in a 2014 speech:
“If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.”
2. Create an ‘office’
You don’t have to have a whole room set aside but clearing a space for yourself at a table or desk will do wonders for your mind and will get your brain out of relaxation mode and into work mode (even if your desk is within arm’s reach of your bed). Take the time to plan with those you live with. If you aren’t the only person in your household working from home it’s a good idea to establish ground-rules and a household routine to protect each other’s privacy. If you have children, agree a timetable with any parenting partners you have.
3. Dress for work
Start your workday showered and dressed. It might be tempting to stay in your pyjamas, but chances are you won’t feel as though you’re fully in work mode. You don’t need to dress in clothes that you’d wear to the office but something comfortable that is appropriate for a video call, will leave you feeling more professional and focused.
4. Take regular breaks
If you normally work in the office, you’ll probably be engaging in conversations with those around you or getting up from your seat to talk to colleagues – which means you’ll naturally be breaking up your screen time and moving around more. Remember to check in with your body and do some stretches to help prevent upper limb problems.
5. End your day
It’s easy to let work time slip into leisure time without a set cut-off point. Decide the point at which you’ll end your working day and adhere to it. No feeling guilty! Shut down your laptop and turn off your work phone away to avoid looking at emails – instead spend the evening doing something you enjoy.