In the wake of the global pandemic, many organizations are now working remotely from their homes. While the work environment has changed, the need to keep it running smoothly hasn’t. In fact, constant communication, especially within teams, has become more necessary than ever. Despite innovative tools and techniques, people still feel something is amiss in the new set up. Whether you are a seasoned remote worker or a WFH newbie, virtual team management could be a challenge and yet is vital to ensure that the new work setup is a success.
Here are a few tips to make your internal communication more effective and teams more collaborative.
Make the most of communication tools
While working from home, one of the major issues that both employers and employees face is staying connected constantly. Thanks to online communication tools that issue can be easily dealt with. As of today, almost every office operation can be managed using collaborative tools for project management, communication, meetings, and more. You might not have the flexibility to talk across your desks and get an instant response, but you can still recreate the same system using instant group messaging tools like Slack and Google Hangouts. To make the most of team meetings, use video calls and conferencing apps instead of audio-only options so you can maintain your original team environment.
Be responsive at all times
Whether you are a team lead or manager or just a team member, being responsive is vital to stay connected to your coworkers and ensure that work is flowing smoothly. However, since WFH keeps you away from a visible office environment, it can make you lax. To avoid that, be online at all times and respond to queries and approvals instantly, so your team knows you are around and available. It also helps in resolving issues and addressing problems without any time lapse.
Set meeting schedules
WFH or virtual office is still pretty new for a lot of people. To streamline the workday, it is important to set a schedule and maintain a routine, just like you would in a physical office space. If you used to have a daily team meeting at the start and end of the day, then continue to do so, only inform your team in advance and stick to the set times, unless, of course, there is an emergency.
Being proactive is the key to an organized work practice but more so when you are away from your team and other coworkers. When taking breaks, inform your team members, so everyone is aware and know when and when not to expect you. Encourage the same from other team members as well.
Social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation. People might be working remotely, but they still have the need for socializing and sharing their day-to-day events. Encourage people to interact with their work buddies as much as possible. If feasible, plan group lunches on a video call and use the time to talk about things of common interest and bridge the gap that often comes with a virtual work environment. From problem-solving to brainstorming creative ideas, do it as a group, and bring the human touch to your team communication.
Making your team members feel connected and included at all times, especially in these challenging circumstances, would only ensure better coordination and thus higher productivity.