26 Feb Keep your spirits up! 5 Tips to help maintain team cohesion and morale over lockdown
Working remotely has been difficult to adapt to. Keeping in touch and maintaining a collaborative atmosphere when you can’t get to the office is challenging; it’s easy to feel isolated from your teammates. Keeping morale up is one of the key goals of businesses in 2021. In this article we’ve compiled 5 of our top tips to maintain morale and help you work effectively as part of a remote team.
Use video as much as you can!
Video conferencing systems have been endlessly useful over the last year. The obvious advantages to remote selling make a video calling solution an easy choice, but you may not have considered how it could help your teams.
Using a video call rather than the more traditional voice conference creates far more engagement among your teams. You know this intuitively of course – you pay more attention to people if you can see them while they’re talking.
Of course, video conferencing services make it far easier to recreate the feeling of being in the office. You probably wouldn’t call or message someone if you were sitting next to them – you’d ask them directly! Video calling is the closest we can get to this close-knit team atmosphere right now. It’s done a great job for us.
You can never communicate too much.
If you’re not in the same room as your colleagues, it can be difficult to know exactly what you’re all working on. This aspect of lockdown has been particularly hard if your job relies on effective teamwork. If you work in tech support or customer service, for example, you’ll naturally spend a lot of your time helping teammates and asking others for input.
This comes easily when you’re in the same office, but without the right technology and attitude it’s not easy to replicate at home. Encouraging effective collaboration is one of the key challenges of remote management. A quick video call in the morning helps make sure everyone starts off on the same page. It’s also important to keep checking in throughout the day, either with group instant message chats or ad-hoc video calls.
Stick to a routine!
We won’t lie, being able to reduce our commute to a 30-second walk has been a great upside to working from home. We haven’t had to deal with morning traffic or crowded and often late public transport in months.
It’s easy to see this hour or so we’ve gained in the morning as extra time in bed, but we found very quickly that that’s a slippery slope. Try to think of the time you’re saving by not having to commute as more time to get into gear in the morning.
Try to stick to the same routine as when you commute to the office; get up in time to catch the hypothetical train. If you make this habit, you’ll find yourself with more time to enjoy your morning. It really is fantastic and has made it so much easier to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Create a quiet workspace.
Easier said than done! Finding a quiet corner to set up a desk to work from is ideal. The most important tip, though, is to work and relax in different areas. While working in the office we’ve trained ourselves to engage “work mode” very quickly when we walk through the door. Your home, then, is where you’ve always gone to switch off and relax.
This is why it took a few weeks for us to really get into the right mindset to work from home. We found pretty quickly that it was best not to work from the sofa in front of the TV. Many of us have actually found that a kitchen table can make an ideal makeshift office – if you can keep it tidy enough! Wherever you work from, try to do everything you can to separate your workspace from where you relax.
Chat while you work.
Let your staff talk to each other. Just like when you’re in the office, friendly chats and a relaxed environment make everyone feel better.
This is even more important when you can’t get to the office. We’re social creatures by nature, so the physical isolation of lockdown can be a lot to deal with. So encourage your colleagues to talk to each other! Ask about their weekends. Take a few minutes out of your day to catch up with your friends. Organise an informal team video chat on a Friday afternoon.
Tools like Microsoft Teams and Unified Communications platforms make this simple. Instant messaging, voice calls and of course video conferencing ensure it’s never hard to stay in touch.
We can provide all the technology you need to ensure smooth, stress-free collaboration with all your teammates. We can’t help you get out of bed in the morning, but we can keep you connected.