With the COVID-19 outbreak closing the doors of the majority of businesses, the global workforce is now operating from home. So, as a manager or leader, how can you ensure maximum productivity among your team to continue to drive the business forward in such critical times?
As remote working is our ‘modus operandi’, we, at TrueProfile.io, wanted to share our top tips on how to motivate your team(s), virtually, and what tools you can use online to aid your communication and project work.
Keep in touch with your team, and often!
For anyone working from home, coronavirus or not, communication is key! Start the week as you intend to go on and organise a team conference call, to set your expectations and discuss the tasks for the week ahead.
If working from home is new to your team, make sure they know when and how they can contact you. It’s also important to check-in with your team individually, and not just ask about work, but also in terms of how they are feeling, too – particularly those who are living on their own or are isolating.
For any bigger issues or queries that you or your team may have, we find it’s best to solve these via a quick video call – rather than email.
Keep the team’s morale up
Working remotely can be tough, even for those of us who are veterans! A feeling of loneliness and/or boredom can quickly set in, so keeping up the team’s morale is really crucial to ensure maximum productivity.
Firstly, encourage your team to have a routine, as if they were in an office. For example, simply getting dressed, having a dedicated workspace and taking your lunch break really does make a huge difference to your energy levels. Whereas, working in pyjamas and from bed, will not do anything for productivity.
Continue to check in with your team, individually, throughout the week and don’t cancel your one-to-one catch-ups, you can still have them virtually over a cup of tea or coffee. Making the time for your team, particularly during a time like this, won’t go unnoticed.
Another way to keep spirits up is to regularly appreciate and recognise your team’s efforts, both directly and in front of others. It’s easy to feel forgotten about when working remotely, so this is a real morale booster!
Take advantage of the many (free) online tools
Here are some of the tools that we consider to be the Holy Grail of remote working.
Talking of collaboration, Slack is pretty much our virtual office. We create channels around specific topics or ‘departments’ and add the relevant team members to that channel so they can see the latest news. It helps us to get answers quickly and feed bite-size company updates to the relevant people instead of clogging up their inbox with minor announcements.
Say goodbye to conflicting versions and hello to organized, up-to-date files. Particularly as our team is globally distributed, it means that we don’t need to wait to be sent new versions in order to see the latest changes. Plus, we like to collaborate on our ideas and Google Drive lets us pitch in and work together. Even better, it integrates with Slack.
Zoom was already on the up in the pre COVID-19 world (remember those good old days?), but has spiked in popularity now that the majority of us are working from home. Whether it’s for a quick colleague catch-up or a company wide meeting, Zoom has got you covered. Plus, Zoom integrates with Slack so we can keep everything in one place. Pretty nifty, right?
You’ve probably heard of this project management tool. With a dispersed team, it helps to keep projects and tasks on time and allows you to create ‘Boards’ and ‘To do’ lists and include all of the relevant team members so that even when you’re thousands of miles apart, you feel like you’re working together. It also helps to keep track and note expectations and time frames so that everyone is clear on what they need to deliver and when.
We hope this helped, whether it’s your first time setting up an office in the dining room or if you’re a WFH mogul.