5 best practices to keep your team together when everyone's working from home.
We've almost hit the one year mark since covid has disrupted workplaces across the world. We're all too familiar with terms like Zoom fatigue and digital burnout. Now more than ever, we need to put effort into creating a positive Work From Home (WFH) experience for our company. Keep reading for the Sesamers Declassified WFH (Team) Survival Guide...
- Provide the right tools.
- Bring in an element of fun.
- Bend your idea of "office hours".
- Get people talking.
- Check in frequently.
Provide the right tools
As an employer, you need to provide both digital & physical tools to your team. During "normal times" it's easy to find the needs of your team and solve them. However, now with so many options and lack of closeness, it can be impossible to know how to help your team work their best.
- Implement a direct messaging system (Slack, Discord or Discourse) so that your team is not bogged down with emails.
- Use project management tools to help teammates collaborate (Trello or Monday.com).
- Allow your team to swipe the company card to purchase things that make their WFH setup more comfortable.
- Wait for your team to bring up an issue, be proactive and ask them if they need anything (chances are, they do and they just aren't comfortable asking).
- Change your tools too often or for the wrong reasons. Always evaluate to see if making the switch is worth the time (data transfers + onboarding).
- Skimp on paying for the pro version of certain tools if you need them.
Bring in an element of fun
I'm not saying that work should be equivalent to jumping in a bouncy castle however enough studies have shown that greater employee satisfaction is linked to higher productivity and employee retention.
- Create quick-to-implement, quick-to-do activities sporadically for your team. Example: "Share your favorite meme of the week."
- Try out easy-to-use WFH fatigue-beating tools with your team. If they work, keep them; if not, ditch them.
- Keep meetings engaging by using cool tools to present like Mmhmm App or Here.fm.
- Let your "fun tasks" take priority over your work tasks.
- Force your team to participate in activities.
Bend your idea of "office hours"
Be flexible. We're in an unprecedented time, the rules are what you make them. You have the chance to foster a fantastic work-life balance for your team.
- Implement flexible work hours (AttendanceBot on Slack).
- Enforce accountability.
- Celebrate your differences in location.
- Stick to the traditional "9-5 workday" for everyone.
- Think that time management is the same at home v. in a physical office.
Get people talking
Keeping your team engaged is much more difficult when they are spread out across the globe. What you can do as a manager is create opportunities that get your employees talking.
- Create fun Slack channels ie. random, recipe chat, cool articles. Or use fun Slack integrations like HeyTaco! or Lunch Train.
- Have daily team checkins - host quick 15min morning meeting over video call, or try Cappuccino.
- Impose lengthy non-interactive mandatory meetings.
- Make your team work for "fun" outside of work.
Check in frequently
The combination of WFH burnout + virtual communications is dangerous. How can you help a teammate if you don't know that they're having a "bad day"? How do you know that your projects are on track? How do you know if someone needs more support? It's more difficult to see workload effects virtually than if you were sitting in front of them.
- Weekly polls.
- Morning meetings.
- Ask for ways to improve.
- Assume that your employees are...
- Add more onto the plate of...
- Have a mandatory "camera on" policy all the time.
Our team here at Startup Sesame is currently spread out across the world. From co-working offices in Paris, homes in Germany and Canada, & coffee shops in Kazakhstan, it's safe to say that we know our way around coordinating team life remotely.
And why do we do it all?
Happy team = good work, and good work = good content for YOU.