Working from home
As you are beginning your work from home (wfh) journey, I thought it might be a good idea to offer you with some practical tips in order to make it most effective and productive as well as enjoyable.
I was speaking to some clients last week who all talked about how it’s really hard for them to pick up the phone and speak to their colleagues when they are at work. They rather walk up and over to their colleague sitting a few meters away and discuss the matter on hand and go back to their desks.
This will change for those of you who belong to this category. You will be forced to use the platforms and communication tools available to you under these extraordinary and unusual times. You want your team to be as engaged virtually as well. How would you achieve this?
Morning check in
I suggest that you start your mornings with a quick check in. I know many of you feel this is unnecessary, but this will prove to be very useful for your teams. Just like you, they too are struggling to adapt to this new situation. Encourage your team members to ask for face time virtually during the day at any point if they need your guidance.
Keeping your team motivated
You must help them stay motivated. How would you do this? I suggest that you create a buddy program. Create groups of 3/5 persons who start their morning cup of virtual coffee together. Each member can take turns to share how they are on that morning and leave the group with a nice short story with a moral, quote or an uplifting thought. This has proven to be a successful practice. Let us start care mongering during these challenging times. This has an added benefit. It helps us to transition into work mode since we are not spending travel time to shift from home to work.
It might be a good idea to spend the last 10 minutes every day with a quick check in with your teams. This not only helps in communication channels being open and flowing but also has an increased morale amongst your team members. The human race is happy and satisfied when they feel cared for and of added value. You will reap enormous benefits by investing a few extra minutes at the end of every workday.
With the schools closing down as well, you want to set yourself apart from your family. Find a quiet spot in your home and explain to your loved ones to respect the fact that you’re working. Just because you’re home does not mean you’re available. Make this very clear.
I cannot emphasize how important this is. Make a promise to yourself that you will keep up the normal daily routine as if you’re traveling to work. Get up in time, get dressed, eat a healthy nutritious and wholesome breakfast and switch on your laptop. Your discipline and commitment are key factors in making this succeed for you
Hope these few pointers help you. I end this article with a short funny story.
As I was preparing to stock up on a few extra groceries, I was clueless what to buy and be prepared for a potential emergency situation should there be one. My older daughter who lives in Toronto called me in her lunch hour as she was wfh. She walked me through the grocery store and helped me shop. I was very grateful. The next day my younger daughter called me from Washington DC in her lunch hour as she was walking to get some groceries. I now walked her through what she must stock up on having received the guidance from my older daughter. It was heartening to feel the love, care and bond even though they are so far away. At times like this, I never feel lonely or alone. Thanks to technology, we have been able to stay connected as a family unit despite the distance.
You too can achieve this working with your teams virtually. It requires some tweaking and improving your skill sets to work remotely. With a few tips and guidance given above, I hope you will exercise more self-awareness as you’re entering these uncertain times ahead.
With kindness and care
Prerna Sujan PCC
executive coach, tréner