12 Nov 2020
Is working from home your new normal?
· In April 2020, 46.6% of people in employment did some work at home.
· Of those, 86% did so as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Source:Office of National Statistics April 2020
If, like many, the decision to work remotely stemmed from your usual workplace closing its doors during the CV19 lockdown, it may have taken some getting used to. There was so much to think about wasn’t there? From simple things like trying to find a suitable place at home to set up a makeshift desk. To realising that dining chairs really aren’t that comfortable to sit on for hours on end. And that was only the tip of the iceberg! Once you had a space to work from, then came the logistics of getting the technology in place to switch from a team working in a centralised location to a team working in a variety of locations.
At the time of writing, we’re approximately 8 months down the line from that somewhat wobbly start. How’s it working out for you?
Do you Zoom? Or Hangout?
There’s a lot of talk about how working from home can be liberating. Not having to do that commute to the office every day is certainly a bonus for many. But it can still feel a bit lonely at times, right?
The internet is awash with useful tips and recommendations for staying connected as a team whilst working remotely. Who isn’t regularly video conferencing on Zoom, Hangouts or Meet? Do you know any team that isn’t already communicating with either Slack or WhatsApp these days? Or not actively using time management tools?
Take breaks and stay in touch
What we’d like to talk about here isn’t so much about tools or techniques to help you do your job when you’re working remotely. Just because youcan work all the time, doesn’t mean youshould. Bring on the fun!We’d like to introduce some ideas to bring some fun back into working as a team, even though you’re no longer in the same physical workspace.
This new way of working is an opportunity to get to know your team mates better. And no matter what size your remote team is there’s still an opportunity to share more about your lives beyond work.
Make time in the day to chat about your interests, families or pets, just as you would if you were in the office together. Perhaps we aren’t seeing as many friends or family as frequently as we were, so socialising during the working day is important for everyone’s mental well-being.
Here are our 5 top tips for bringing the fun back into working as a remote team:
· Have a quick chat: Grab a virtual coffee with a co-worker in the time that you would previously have spent travelling to work. Have a chat by phone or even text. Regain some of the spontaneous conversations that can get lost when you’re no longer in the same building or on the same bus.
· Team building: this can be as simple as everyone reading an article and sharing thoughts and opinions. Or take it a step further and set up a virtual book club.
· Mindfulness, yoga, art or whatever you love to do: Organise a virtual class with a local instructor and invite your colleagues to join in.
· Share photos: Of course, don’t cross boundaries. But make it fun by sending each other photos of your workspaces. Who got the tidiest? Who shares their desk with their cat? Who’s got the tastiest-looking lunch today?
· Christmas Themed dress up days: Go on… go for it!
The trick is to find something that fits into everyone’s schedule. And that you can do together.
How are you and your co-workers staying connected? If something has worked well for you, we’d love to hear about it. Let us know?