Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Ideas for Staff to Feel Connected When Working Remotely

In these unprecedented times, it is important for staff to be intentional about staying connected and supporting the social-emotional needs of their staff.

To follow are ideas that have worked well for my colleagues and I.

Personal touch

Team leaders can consider sending a note -- an email, teams message, or text -- to people on the team who you don't interact with regularly one-to-one while everyone is working from home. This might be the people who report to your direct reports, for example. This goes a long way in letting staff know you care about them.

Daily check ins

Start days with a daily check in. See how staff is doing/holding up. Then discuss any needs staff have and come up with ways to support their work.

Intentional shout outs 

Supervisors can shout out the great work of staff. Do your best to recognize each staff member (or team) at least once across the week. They can also invite staff to shout out colleagues.

Video on!

People want to connect and see one another. Turn the video on as you enter and whenever you are speaking. Turn it back on as you sign off. Additional video conference tips.

Get personal 

It's okay to set aside some time to share and connect on a human level. Anything interesting this week? How did everyone start their day? What's your exercise routine look like. Connection is key.

Have fun

Let's face it. Working (and doing everything) from home is hard. Add some fun into meetings as appropriate with filters and backgrounds. We all need just a little more opportunities to laugh. 

My Corona Life Scavenger Hunt

Here's a fun activity like a scavenger hunt to get to know your teammates a little better. Ideas may include: 

  • Your favorite food / drink during Corona
  • Something you have spent more time with during Corona Virus
  • A picture of (or actual) work-at-home companions during Corona i.e. pet, child, partner, roommate 

Project list

It's important to know what colleagues are working on all the time and especially when working remotely. We use something called an action tracker that indicates who is working on what project and what the status is. This is a great way to keep folks in the loop.

Your turn

What are you doing to stay connected in a time of working remotely?
Five staff members in a meeting.

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