How to help your team during remote working

The world is going through an unprecedented time, something none of would have been able to predict a few months ago.

Companies who are fortunate enough to offer remote working are moving towards a world where their entire workforce is remote-first, probably for the first time. That brings a whole host of challenges so we wanted to share some of the things we’re doing at Wagestream to help our team during this time.

1. Communication is key 

When employees go from verbally interacting with their team and the wider business every day to working remotely for the very first time, communication will make the transition as easy as possible. 

One of the hardest things about working remotely is the sense of loneliness that can set in if you’re used to daily, face to face interaction. 

There are several processes you can fix in place to make sure your team is frequently communicating and that everybody is working towards a shared goal.

A daily check-in and check out at the beginning and end of the day per team, encourages teams to remain focused on the tasks at hand but also provides the much-needed face time with their closest colleagues.

two people working from laptops

2. Make the most of technology 

Communication tools are a simple way to keep everyone engaged. Tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams are suited for collaboration and communication. Video calls instead of phone calls are the second-best medium to communicate after face to face meetings. Because much of communication is conveyed through body language, video calls make it easier to see each other’s reactions and bounce off your teams’ energy. 

Technology is also really useful for assigning tasks and measurements of performance. Ensuring everyone across the businesses is clear of their daily and weekly tasks are important to keep everything moving forward. Each employee and their manager should have a clear outline of their tasks, targets and objectives for the week, with a progress chart so everyone in the businesses has visibility of the progress being made. 

The key to remote working is making sure that everybody feels connected as a business and technology is the key part of that. 

3. Get the right balance of screen time

With no dedicated commuting time, it can be easy for employees to slip into an always-on habit when working from home. If your team isn’t used to working from home regularly it’s vital to communicate your expectations as a business. You don’t want your employees being online from the moment they wake to the moment they go to bed. Having downtime from a screen is still just as important, encourage your employees to come up with their routine.

There is evidence that solidifying a working from home routine can help increase productivity and support mental health. It sounds basic, but every day your team should get up, get dressed, have breakfast, commute, and then “log-in”. Ensuring your team find a way to end their day is also really useful. Prioritise a wind-down routine is especially hard when working from home but making a point to shut down your laptop is a huge win for work/life balance.

At Wagestream we’re trying a digital detox every Wednesday from 5 pm where Slack notifications will be turned off – giving us some time to take care of ourselves and switch off from work.

If they have opportunities during the day to get outside inspire your team to take them. This might be a lap around the park at lunchtime or 5 minutes in the garden each afternoon with a cup of tea. Any opportunity to get some fresh air will make a meaningful difference to your team’s day. At Wagetsream we’ve created a fitness slack channel where people can post at-home walk, runs or cycles and we’ve even scheduled in a Zoom team walk over lunchtime.

3. Make time for connection 

In the office, it’s easy to grab a cup of coffee with your teammates in the kitchen and this is something that colleagues might crave when working from home. At Wagestream we’ve scheduled a virtual tea time that people can optionally dial into for a cuppa and catch up with their colleagues to boost morale. Trying to keep social activities as normal as possible, we also changed our inaugural Wagestream pub quiz to a virtual one, which went down a treat.

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