With the majority of the UK workforce now working from home, it’s a new way of engaging with our teams. Here are a few top tips for staying connected when working remotely.
Have regular meetings
Make sure you have regular team meetings scheduled. Send agenda items to cover to make sure everything is included, and bring your updates to share. Use this opportunity to connect with your colleagues and share where you are with your work.
Make a list
Set yourself goals for the week and commit to working through them. Writing it down can be really helpful and keep you on track. Make sure you share your tasks with relevant people in the team, to ensure that you’re not duplicating effort, and are all working towards the same goal.
Rather than sending lengthy email chains, use the things like Microsoft Teams or Slack chat to arrange meetings or discuss specifics. This will stop your inbox getting clogged.
Hear a voice
It’s not only important to communicate for business, but also your mental health. Working from a quiet home can be isolating, so make sure you keep talking. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and hear someone’s voice!
People are social creatures. A great deal of what we communicate to each other will not be what we say but also how we say it — the tone of voice, the expression on the face. Using video to have calls means it can be easier to communicate and understand.
Check your emails
We’re used to relying on email, and this might increase over the next few weeks. General advice is avoid overcommunicating by email, make good use of subject lines, keep messages clear and brief, be polite, check your tone, and proofread before you send.
Use Dropbox for sharing documents, and make sure that any documents you have updated have been saved, so that there are not conflicting copies.
Have a separate space
If you can, set up a home office space, or mark a part of your living room or kitchen table to be just yours for working. This can help increase focus, as well as providing a space that you can walk away from at the end of the day. Not everyone is lucky enough to do this, we know, but it’s a smart move if you can.
Praise and thank you
When you’re in the office it’s easy to say thank you or praise someone for a job well done, but this can be forgotten when you’re working remotely. Make sure your team mates know you’re appreciative of what they do!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are lots of changes happening at the moment, and it can be anxiety inducing. Whether you have a specific work problem, are struggling with mood, or just want a chat, reach out to your line manager or Katie and Robyn, who are both Mental Health First Aid trained.
We’re used to having conversation in the office, sharing lunch, and having the occasional drink. Why not have an end of the week drink and chat with the team? It can be a great way to end the week, connect with your colleagues, and keep some sense of rhythm and normality to your routine.
With always on technology, it can be easy to be always working. But you don’t need to. It’s important to set boundaries. If you usually finish at 5.30, do the same when you’re at home. Work may generally be becoming more flexible and fluid, but it’s important to keep space in your life for relationships, hobbies, health and wellbeing.
Francesca Baker is a writer. A storyteller. Someone who can bring words alive. She’s a communications and marketing whizz, and can help you reach your audiences. Everything she does comes from the values of creativity, communication, and connection.
You can view Francesca’s website and find her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.