The effects of Coronavirus have been widespread in all our lives, but there is one aspect of the virus that is unlikely to change anytime soon – namely, the rise in working from home.
While remote-working poses a wide variety of challenges compared to the traditional office set-up, it also makes team-building and instilling a sense of collectiveness even more difficult. Staff morale is vital in any organization, but with remote working, there is a real danger of employees feeling isolated working alone in a solitary environment.
As remote working continues to become more widespread, bosses and company owners have to find increasingly inventive ways to keep their staff feeling involved and part of a team. For many employees, that sense of being part of a wider company culture is crucial for maintaining drive and enthusiasm.
Here are five ways to build and maintain company collectiveness amongst staff through Coronavirus and beyond.
- Hold regular team meetings via video conferencing
Just because your staff members are working remotely doesn’t mean they need to feel cut off and can’t work as a team. In a remote working office, physical proximity is impossible, but that need not mean an end to basic communication. Use video conferencing and be sure to encourage regular use of the technology – daily if need be – to keep morale high and offer support to your team. These moments of social interaction are more important now than ever, so try to schedule at least one meeting a day with your team to keep them feeling part of a bigger collective and motivated toward a common goal.
- Standardize the software you use
From the outset, choose the software you’re going to use and make sure everyone’s on the same page. Your staff will likely already have preferred file-sharing platforms or video conferencing tools, but you should all agree on specific software for specific tasks to allow effective communication. For example, when it comes to file-sharing, many companies use Google Drive as a safe and secure way to transfer files. Still, many other options exist, including dedicated file transfer services. It will make everyone’s lives easier if you make these decisions early and insist all staff use the same. Using software on a company-wide basis will avoid potential problems later.
- Remember, people need praise and encouragement now more than ever
We’re all aware of the physical health problems caused by contracting Covid-19, but less well-documented is the psychological effects the virus has had on communities at large. Even those that have remained healthy and haven’t contracted any illness are suffering. Over the last few months, health services the world over have reported a spike in cases of depression and other associated mental health problems. For many, work is a much-needed distraction and support mechanism, so encouragement from bosses and colleagues is now more important than ever. Remember to offer praise and support to all your team members as often as possible.
- Factor in the need for the robust network security
While office network security has always been important in an online environment with multiple remote “offices,” your company is wide open to all manner of risks. Companies like Microsoft have been quick to implement improved online security in their products aimed at remote-workers. However, if you want a truly safe network that instills the faith and trust of staff, you should look at enlisting the skills of a dedicated Microsoft 365 security company to make your network bulletproof and allow online team-working amongst staff.
- Allow for flexibility
No two people are the same. While one person could function their best at 8 am, another might find their productivity levels soar in the evening. As the world adapts slowly to remote-working, we’ll likely see a more flexible approach to the old 9-5 culture that’s been such a pervasive part of our office lives. Of course, companies still need to work around the hours of their clients. However, as the world grows more used to an increasingly online work environment, it’s likely the traditional hours of work will also change.
Homeworking is going to be a prevalent part of our lives for many months to come – probably much longer. By implementing the ideas above, you’ll get a head start on improving colleague motivation and work practices – ready to embrace the new future of remote working.