In light of the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of people have resorted to working from home. Social distancing measures are taking root in many countries, and may workers are having to turn their homes into a work environment. I'll be sharing 8 tips on how to build an efficient team, despite working from home, and how to make sure that they deliver. Some of my tips will include getting new equipment, like a standing desk or a desk bike for home offices, for example. These tips will no doubt elevate your workforce to a new level of effectiveness.
It Begins At The Top
The CEO, manager, or whoever is at the top of the chain of authority must be present on work channels. Seeing the boss working, communicating, and working remotely will send a signal to other members of staff. They will know to take remote working seriously because the authorities are on these channel and will enforce team standards. When workers see that people at the top of the hierarchy have gone remote, they will find it easier to follow.
It is also important for people at the top of the hierarchy to know when to log out of the work environment. Since one of the dangers of working remotely is unhealthy work hours, having a CEO who sets an example by logging off when needs be will encourage employees to do as well.
The Company's Values, Mission And Purpose Should Be a Major Theme
First off, you should be able to explain in simple sentences why the company exists, what it wants to achieve, and how it wants to achieve this. If employees have a clear vision, or a vision just as clear as that of the CEO's, they will be able to easily rally behind online leadership and get work done as easily as they would have in a regular work environment.
Authenticity Is Important
The key to building a successful and efficient team, whether offline or online, is to have a group that is as cohesive as possible. One way to build this cohesiveness is through trust. It's impossible to build a cohesive team without trust, and the best way to build trust is to be as open and as authentic as possible. When sensitive issues arise— as they always do, deal with them openly. Try, as much as you can, to not be secretive about issues.
Does Your Company Have a Digital Company Culture?
This is a question that you must ask yourself. Office-based office operations have a culture, and digital operations must have a culture as well. When you go from the offline to the online, as it were, you should also build an online culture that reflects in the conduct of your team members. This means that you must find online avenues for your employees to build that online culture— how do they express encouragement? How do they express joy at a project working out? Are there channels for this culture to build online?
Use The Right Tools
Many times, this relates to digital communication tools like emails, hangouts, and video conferences. And while this is very important, it is important for team members to have the right physical tools to. For example, having a desk like a MonitorStand Workstation in home offices wouldn't be a terrible idea. Standing desks help ease the strain on the back, and allows you to work on your feet (well, that goes without saying— that is why they are called standing desks, after all). The MonitorStand Workstation helps you save space, and it even has an integrated UV sterilization system that disinfects your keyboard, phone(s) and pens.
Create Remote Experiences
When working digitally, you're making a few sacrifices. You're sacrificing the social cohesion that naturally happens in company spaces, and you're sacrificing the bonding that can happen between employees. You can create, with Slack or a similar tool, channels where these things can be effectively taken care of. Team members can high five each other, send emojis and even celebrate birthdays with the rest of the staff to replace the social cohesion that naturally happens in the office.
Handle Conflicts Creatively
Conflicts are a unique opportunity for the growth of social cohesion— it can also be an avenue for the breakdown of the chain of authority. It all depends on how well you handle them. What makes it worse is that it is more difficult to trash out issues online than in real life. But you should know that conflict resolution online is tricky, but certainly not impossible. All it takes, really, is more communication and patience. If you get this right, your group will use conflicts to grow into a more cohesive whole, instead of breaking down into bickering halves.
This is an easy strategy and just means that you should be kind and compassionate to workers. Generally, people respond better to kindness than to other more high-handed strategies. Of course, this doesn't only relate to employers. it also relates to other workers. Create avenues for employees to be kind to one another, and importantly, find a way to encourage and reward such behavior. This will make it easier for the group to come together.