As we approach our 4th month in quarantine, much of the American workforce is still working from home. We wanted to share some easy ideas and accessible tools for boosting team morale and maintaining well-being while telecommuting. We hope these ideas give you some inspiration! For additional resources on managing a remote team, check out our free guidebook, Pivoting your Business to a Remote Work from Home Strategy during COVID-19.
Open up the Conversation
Everyone keeps talking about “the new normal.” What does the new normal look like in your organization? Now that you and your team have several months of experience in this arena, it is a great time to have a check-in meeting. It’s a good time to ask, “How are you?… How are you really?” Ask your team for their experience and insight on the unique challenges of working from home. This communicates that you care about them and can also uncover new innovations that you can apply. It may also be a chance for the team to bond and laugh over the challenges of too much “family time,” challenging pets as coworkers, and methods for managing virtual meeting fatigue.
Now may also be a good time to update your organization’s remote work policies. Be sure to gather team insights on:
- Business Processes
Do a Company Culture Check-In
The biggest fear that organization leaders have when teams transition to remote work is that company culture will suffer. How is your company culture holding up?
According to the Harvard Business Review, there are 3 kinds of distance in remote collaboration: physical (place and time), operational (team size, bandwidth, and skill levels), and affinity (values, trust, and interdependency). The key to maintaining company culture is reducing the affinity distance.
Some ideas to get started:
- Get face-to-face: Rather than email, text message, or voice calls, use video calls as much as possible. This will help you and your team build upon and maintain existing rapport.
- You can never be too clear: Don’t assume that others understand your cues and shorthand. Spend the time to communicate with the intention of being ultra-clear, no matter the medium.
- Create digital rituals: It is still important to “get together,” even if it’s a video chat, to bask in wins and successes, share a bit about team members’ lives outside of work, and celebrate important events.
The health benefits of laughter are widely recognized and well-known. The Mayo Clinic tells us that laughter can enhance your intake of oxygen-rich air, increase endorphins in the brain, release dopamine, activate and relieve your stress response, and soothe tension.
Want to incorporate a little more humor into your management style but comedy is not your thing? Don’t worry. Research shows that, of all the things people laugh at, 80% is not really that funny. To maximize the effect, be sure to include the whole group because according to a University of Maryland study, we are 30x more likely to laugh with other people than when we are alone.
Try to allow a little time in all of your virtual meetings and interactions for some humor to lighten the mood. Schedule it in, whenever possible.
Users of Microsoft Teams can bring creative energy and sense of humor to group chats and one-on-one messages with emojis, GIFs and stickers for every occasion. These extras help to establish the tone and friendly intent in the absence of body language, facial expression, and the other benefits of in-person communication.
Keep Your Technology Running Smoothly
We hope that you now have some new ideas for boosting employee morale while working from home. Are you looking for more support with your information technology? We help our customers attain high productivity levels for their teams, improve data security, implement reliable solutions that can scale, all while keeping costs under control.
Our approach to delivering the best possible IT service is centered on you. For a free consultation and technology assessment, please contact us today.
We know what it’s like to run a business and we know your time is valuable. We can:
- learn about your business
- give you some ideas on what improvements you can make right away
- provide free advice on your approach to IT and remote work solutions
And if you’d like, we can show you where and how we can help. Call (866) 407-1284 or email us at Info@AccountabilIT.com.