If you have worked on a team with members across different locations, or if you have remote employees on your team already, we have solutions to support the confines of temporary team member isolation. Here are some tips and suggestions for how your company can stay productive and communicative during your time working from home:
Communication Tools Need to Be Your Go-To Solution
Video conferencing systems, like Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Hangouts, will be or have become your best friend. Ask yourself “is this conversation better-suited face-to-face?” If so, book 15 minutes with someone over your video conferencing system instead of managing these communications over email or a messaging tool. It will go the distance for keeping you and your teammates in sync. Verity IT can help get you situated with the right video conferencing system for your needs.
Messaging tools, like Microsoft Teams, are a great way to continue moving through your processes and asking necessary questions to team members. This is a rapid way to get answers and to communicate small needs or changes with the group.
Don’t be afraid to just pick up the phone and call someone. Is your significant other working from home also? Not to worry — Microsoft Teams can be used to call your other co-workers when you need to have a quick conversation.
Block Off “Do Not Disturb” Time on Your Calendar Each Day
Communication tools, especially when remote, can become your entire day if you don’t manage your time appropriately. We have all looked at the clock at 4:30 p.m. and said, “Wow, I have been on the phone all day and haven’t moved all day!” — not good. It’s important to establish blocks of time where your not interrupted so you can concentrate on your work.
Utilize the Do Not Disturb feature to limit your notification overload. Getting constantly pinged can be overwhelming for anyone; do your best to reduce distractions when you need to go heads down on problem-solving for an hour.
When You’re in a Video Meeting, Turn on Your Camera and Pay Attention
It’s easy to get distracted by other messages you’re receiving when you’re on a video conference, especially when you can’t just close your laptop like when you’re in a conference room with team members. The only way to avoid this is to turn off notifications and focus on the discussion at hand.
We recommend turning on your camera — yes, you need to get dressed and comb your hair. This allows people to read your expressions and interact with you more effectively. Additionally, it gives you the incentive to be present in the meeting instead of handling other issues during the call. No one wants to be called out for not paying attention.
Working from home is about balance. Make sure you take frequent breaks and monitor your working hours as you would if you were commuting. Get outside and take a walk. Talk with your kids, neighbors or your pets. It’s easy to burnout when you work from home, so talk with your manager if you feel that you are struggling to be productive. Use the tools you have at your disposal to continue being effective contributors and collaborators with your remote team members.