Gone are the days when working from home was considered a rare luxury. The Covid-19 pandemic has revolutionized the way we work. As of May 2021, working remotely has become a way of life for many of us. It's safe to assume this trend is definitely going to continue.
In a recent McKinsey consumer survey, 41 percent of employees said they were more productive working from home. In the future, some offices might adopt a hybrid work model. On the other hand organisations who have reaped benefits from remote work will likely continue in the same mode.
Like many of you reading this, I have not had face-to-face interaction with any of my coworkers for more than a year. The daily coffee breaks, lunchtime chats, and team outings are a thing of the past. Office communications are restricted to emails, phone calls, or through team communication software.
While the COVID-19 pandemic will eventually end and restrictions will lift, the business world is likely to continue working remotely in the years to come. The following three tips will improve your remote working experience.
1) Invest in a team communication software
Collaboration platforms are the new email. Gone are the days when people typed out an email just to send a document or video to their colleagues. Today, efficient team communication follows the drag and drop model. Moreover, using a team collaboration platform saves a lot of time.
A good business communication tool improves productivity, simplifies IT management, and stimulates employee motivation. It brings employees closer by simplifying your team's communication with organised conversations and easy-to-find information.
There are companies that have even started interacting with people outside their organisations using their instant messaging software. Collaboration platforms are here to stay, so if you're planning to invest in a team collaboration app, take a look at our list of ten things to consider while looking for a team collaboration app.
2) Use video calls effectively
How many of you can relate with a working environment like the one in this picture? I took this picture last year at the beginning of the lockdown. My daughter would sit next to me and attend her school's online classes. My one-year-old son would be sleeping in his crib. Even though I have a desk, I end up sitting on the bed while working. I help my daughter with her classwork and we have started to embrace this new normal.
I know however that I am not alone; it's the same case with many households. So during our conference calls, we also get a glimpse of how our colleagues work alongside with their partners, children, and parents. Things we overlooked in the past are an integral part of our lives today.
I highly recommend that we use video calls at least once a week to foster face-to-face communication with your team. Seeing people's faces helps us connect with them better. In our team, we have made it a point to have our Monday morning meetings through video calls using Zoho Cliq's video conferencing feature to facilitate face-to-face communication. We are presentable on Mondays.
3) Play a game with your team members
Due to COVID-19 safety restrictions, we do not have the luxury of planning team outings, lunch gatherings, or even a coffee break at work. However, you can still help your team stay connected and end the week on a high note by turning work into a game on Fridays. Try these two types of games:
i. Fun games that help you to get to know your colleagues better
Ask your colleagues to send you a picture of their home working environment by direct message. Then, send the photo to the group chat and ask your colleagues to identify whose home workspace it is. This is a great way to learn more about your team members.
ii. Fun games that help you to work as a team better
Link a page from your company's website in the team chat and offer your colleagues a reward to whoever finds the most typos, logical errors, or technical flaws in the page. Making this task a timed competition offers a fun change of pace and as a result, the webpage will be error free.
We can be hopeful, but of course there's no way to know how long this lockdown will continue or how long it will take until normalcy returns. However, as we continue to stay indoors and stop the spread, we can also make adjustments to improve our time working from home and stay connected with our team members.