Pretty much everyone is working from home these days. We’ve all become remote workers and while there’s a lot of perks like more time with the family, less time wasted commuting. One thing that gets a lot harder is communicating.
In the office, you were able to quickly have face-to-face meetings, read the body language of your team to see how they’re doing and you can glance at their screens to see what they’re doing but not anymore. Now, you need to make the effort.
Here are my top tips for teams working from home:
Personal Video Calls
It’s going to be tempting to quickly send off messages because it can seem like a hassle to do phone calls or video calls but you need to do them. Otherwise, you’re going to find that miscommunication happens, leading to more and more mistakes.
So do video calls whenever you can and better yet schedule daily calls to make it easier for people to ask questions they might not otherwise ask.
Let People Know You’re Ready to Work
Next, say good morning when you start the day. This lets everyone know that you’re up and you’re ready for work. Do the same thing at lunchtime and let people know when you’re out for lunch and when you’re finishing up for the day.
Clarify Priorities and Tasks
For my team, I ask them to let me know first thing in the morning, what they’ll be working on that day and at the end of the day, what they accomplished. This keeps everyone informed and accountable on the work that is expected of them each day.
Check In Constantly
If you’re a leader, check in with your team constantly, every couple of hours. Check in with them to see how they’re doing and what they’re working on.
When staff are working from home, you can’t wait until the end of the day to find out they were doing the wrong thing.
For staff working from home, when you receive instructions on a task, repeat back what you understand your task to be. Send partially completed work to your leader to check to make sure you’re on the right track, just like leaders, no one wants to find out once everything is complete that they did the wrong thing.
Create Instructional Videos
Another tip I have for you is if you’re trying to explain something, you don’t have to do a call every single time instead maybe record a quick video and it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You could just grab your phone and take a video of what you’re trying to explain and you’ll find it’s way more effective than trying to explain over text messages.
Group Video Calls With Everyone Working from Home
Something else we do to keep the connection we had in the office is that we start every week with a group Zoom meeting. Everyone gets to see each other and say hi to each other and we all get aligned with our goals.
We also enjoy having a group chat through Slack where we share working from home tips and memes and words of motivation to everyone. We also have a thread where we all share what our home office looks like. You need to find ways to keep the fun at work.
By putting in the extra effort to over-communicate, I think you’ll find that everyone can stay productive and connected even when working from home. Stay safe everyone.