Business owners and their employees are now coming to terms with the new reality of our work space, as we have adapted to our new home offices and remote workstyles. While remote employees have been accustomed to this lifestyle for quite some time, there are many teams facing similar challenges.
All humans respond to crises in different ways, and when faced with an uncertain situation, it can be hard for many of us to cope. So, how do we stay connected, productive and on top of our workload to ensure our businesses thrive past these times?
“The main "system" for staying connected has been "making time".” Piers explains. “It really doesn't matter what technology we use, but making the time to stay connected is the most important thing.”
“We have been using Google Suite (so Meet, chat, etc) which gives us the means to connect to each other, but it's the time. We have ad hoc "virtual coffee" meetings, we have planned "virtual drinks" on Fridays, and we have doubled our "whole team" meetings each week - one which is focused on the projects we are delivering, and one which is exclusively there to discuss how we're going - more of a mental health check in than anything else.”
With many businesses following suit and ramping up the communication channels, we see a common thread of everyone looking to avoid the dark side of working remotely, and that’s the loneliness that can stem from lack of interaction. Businesses are opting for virtual happy hours, online lunch and learns and open coffee zoom rooms to encourage employees to not just ramp up their work conversations, but to engage in regular chit chat.
When sharing his thoughts on efficiency at home, Piers explains that. “It's not about efficiency, to be honest; it's about adapting and surviving in this environment. More importantly we are focused on making sure that the team is travelling well, have good environments to work in and all that they need to get their work done.”
“We're actually finding that as a result of focusing on people rather than efficiency, we are getting good productivity. I think standing over people in this environment and cracking the whip is not the way to get through this - it's about being considerate, collaborative and caring. So, that's what we're focusing on right now, as well as keeping some of our traditions (like Star Wars t-shirt Friday) and trying to have a bit of fun where we can.”
However, with good intentions comes challenges, something most business owners will be facing with their teams at the moment. But for adaptable and agile teams, they’re finding the transition easier than others.
“To be honest, this is covered pretty conveniently by a quote from one of our software engineers when he said "I've been preparing for this working from home thing for my entire life!". We're a lot of technology people, and not to subscribe to stereotypes comprehensively, but there's a lot of us that are introverts - so working from home is something we're pretty well prepared for. From a business perspective, we literally went home one day, and started working from there. We were pretty much totally ready, thanks to a lot of early preparations and planning.”
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