Collaboration and Teamwork when working remotely
Unfortunately, people who work from home are often prone to guilt. The particular guilt of working from home manifests in different ways, but usually centres around perceptions of laziness and often results in three different behaviours.
Strategy to overcome guilt
Putting in longer hours and working twice as hard to prove you aren’t being lazy
Making sure you’re ‘always-on’ – so instantly responding to every digital communication, no matter how inane
Reduced productivity because you’re constantly being distracted and not doing deep work
Treating your home like your workplace between 9-5 (purposefully making the environment alien – not using your TV, stereo, kitchen, etc)
A growing hatred of your home, disgust with working from home, and possibly cabin fever (see below)
Below are 9 tips you can implement to support your team and colleagues.
- Remind your team to start their morning as if they were going into the office
This sounds simple, but for those who have never worked from home before, it’s an important one to remember. When you think about working from home, some might have the perception that it involves lazing around in your pyjamas all day. But a more relaxed dress code can often mean a more relaxed day of work, which can greatly impact productivity levels when working from home. It is important your team still continue their morning routine as if they were getting ready for the office. Whether that consists of going for a run, having a shower or making a coffee, these are all things that will keep them in their work routine. It will also help them have a clear head when it comes time to log on for work.
- Ensure your employees work set-up is safe
When your team is working from home, you have a duty of care for your employees to ensure they are still working safely. When it comes to workspaces, ensuring your employees are set up safely and effectively is paramount for productivity.
We have working from home checklists and Workstation Ergonomics Fact Sheets we can distribute to all employees.
- Remind your team to prioritise their physical health
When working from home – and especially during this time when we’ve been advised to stay home – it can be easy to neglect your physical health. During times like this, it’s never been more important to focus on your physical health. Why? It can get your endorphins flowing and improve your overall mental health during an unsettling time. Some ways you can encourage your team to prioritise their health include:
- Drinking at least 2L of water a day
- Exercising for at least 30 minutes. This could be a walk around the block during their lunch break, doing bodyweight exercises in their living room or practicing yoga.
- Focusing on a healthy diet and eating balanced meals and snacks
This can be as easy as sending out a daily reminder telling your team to get up for 15 minutes and go for a walk.
- Encourage your team to take regular tea and lunch breaks.
It sounds basic, but we all know how easy it can be to get caught up in a task and spend hours at your desk without a break. If you want to make sure your team is taking their breaks, why not send them calendar invites so it’s in their diaries? We also encourage you to make sure your team is stepping away from their workspace during their breaks and follow a ‘no eating lunch at your desk’ rule. Encourage this opportunity to get up, stretch and refocus. This will do your team a world of good.
By taking regular breaks, your team will:
- Be more productive
- Have improved mental health
- Be more creative in their thinking and work
- Have daily team huddles in the morning
When it comes to staying accountable and productive working from home, your team are your superheroes. By having an online daily huddle in the morning, your team can talk about what they achieved from the previous day, what they’re wanting to achieve for the day ahead and any issues or concerns to address. By sharing your team’s intentions for the day, they’ll feel more productive and ready to hit the ground running.
This is a great way to stay productive and can assist with:
- The alignment of goals and tasks as a team
- Improved communication across teams
- Accountability and overall productivity
- Keep in regular online contact with colleagues
It’s crucial to ensure that your team is regularly communicating with colleagues. When faced with an unknown amount of time to be working from home, it can take a toll on your mental health. Social isolation can greatly impact your team, so it’s important you reinforce communication. Scheduling virtual coffee dates is one way you can beat social isolation and improve mental wellbeing.
- Use task management tools
Whether it’s a simple to-do list or using a task management tool like Trello (which we use) is a great way to stay accountable and productive when working from home. These tools allow everyone to map out their day whilst providing transparency to the wider team what everyone is working on. https://employmenthero.com/blog/remote-working/work-from-home-productive/
8. The power of listening
Most leaders have never dealt with such a sudden shift. Like us, they’re learning how to do their job differently, while at the same time figuring out how to help the rest of us do ours.
What’s imperative, is that leaders are listening to what their people need. If they don’t, they are “just throwing darts in the dark”. And it’s not just about giving your people an outlet, you have to give them a voice – you have to follow up on the feedback they’ve provided. Research Qualtrics recently conducted shows organisations that turn feedback into action have much higher engagement rates (78 per cent) than those that don’t (39 per cent).
- Performance Management
Everyone is adjusting to a shocking new reality, and we have to give them time. One of the key things we need to remember is that this wasn’t a planned situation. When you ask to work from home normally, you would set up a work environment and baby sitters etc. so you can continue to work as effectively as you would in the office. Unfortunately, right now that’s not the case.
It’s not work-life integration anymore, it’s a work-life overlap.
The employees you’re speaking to aren’t necessarily in a quiet environment at home. There could be children or animals around, or there could be more than one person in the house trying to work from home.
Employees might feel highly anxious about a daily meeting they’re meant to attend because they’ve got things going on around them – screaming babies or nagging teenagers. Leaders need to step in and say something like “that’s okay, we’re all doing the best we can”. They need to make this imperfect way of working acceptable.
It’s also important leaders are having very clear conversations about output. If you’re clear about what you’ve got to do, how you’re going to do it and the hours you’re going to do it in are secondary. When you set clear boundaries for your staff, you’re setting achievable tasks.
All of this isn’t to say that normal performance issues won’t arise. There is a small portion of workers who might use this time at home to slack off, or perhaps they were already experiencing issues.
You might even find that those who were previously underperforming start wanting to step up and contribute more. That could be out of fear of losing their jobs – research suggests discretionary efforts can increase during a crisis.
Call us today for an obligation free chat to see how we can help!
We are here to help
Each workplace has its own unique challenges. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your outsourced human resources team.
(07) 5613 1846 firstname.lastname@example.org