Guide to Working Remotely
Fostering communications and teamwork
- Working remotely can be isolating and potentially counter-productive. Connections and small interactions help idea generation and collaboration at a time when it is most needed.
- Use video technology to connect with your colleagues if you aren’t doing so already. The human interactions provide a pathway to building relationships and will make a difference in productivity and your mental and emotional well-being.
- A key to a successful communications strategy is frequent, consistent, open communication from senior management with daily messages to managers to cascade down to their teams.
- Schedule 15-minute team huddles every morning to drive alignment on priorities for the day to keep teams connected and allow easy sharing of information. One member firm uses Chat Rooms for team huddles.
- Since you won’t be bumping into your colleagues in the hallway, make it a point to check in personally to share stories and ask how people are doing. If your company is using an instant messaging system, check in with people or send a text message. Connect virtually with colleagues for non-business check-ins during virtual Happy Hours, coffee breaks, or lunch. This is a great way to get recommendations for podcasts and what’s trending on Netflix.
- One member firm is using a company-wide WhatsApp group program to share humorous pictures and stories. Another member firm started a Peloton bike group. Find a way to connect that builds relationships.
- Use time blocking to ensure productivity. Set "work hours" to follow a schedule.
- While one of the best benefits of working remotely is flexibility, that can turn into too much pliancy over where work ends and life begins. No multi-tasking. Work is work. Home is home. Differentiate between the two to avoid distractions.
- Set boundaries. It’s important to get the work done in a timely manner, remote work doesn’t mean that you need to be online or available 24/7.
- Secure a place of your own to work, close the door and make sure your family members understand that you are 'working.' Take a call from a different room, your deck or backyard to change it up!
- Using Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and WebEx technology — to name a few — is imperative to recreate face-to-face interactions when connecting with employees and clients.
- Overnight video conferencing has become a big part of our work day. Enable privacy and security settings to ensure your conversations stay private. Frequently check with platform providers for the latest updates and safeguards.
- Educate teams on the use of tech tools to share screens and show documents to give a hands-on experience that fosters greater team engagement. Test technology and practice using non-working time, such as virtual lunches or coffee breaks to practice and test technology.
- Working remotely is a big transition. New daily work routines might make you feel isolated, unmotivated and frustrated. Any transition takes time so be easy on yourself during those "challenging days."
- Take scheduled breaks, get up and walk around a few times throughout the day and commit to a daily exercise routine.
- Each day, contact at least two people you know from work and two people who are friends/family (with a particular focus on those who may be alone). It’s important when you are working remotely to stay connected and check on others.