Whether you gather your team on video or phone, it’s not business as usual. Working remotely in the world of COVID requires a new approach. For one thing, your meetings should all start with one question: How are you?
To ensure an engaged, productive team when you’re all working remotely and navigating uncharted territory, take these steps to connect and stay connected, empowered, and focused:
- Don’t count on any one platform. While Zoom, Skype, or other video conferences will be important, also give people the opportunity to communicate via email, phone, and text—whatever is most comfortable for them. Make sure their devices are secure and that they have the software and other tech tools to work effectively. It’s okay to overcommunicate at first. Set standards and expectations and seek feedback over time. Be open to new ways to interact.
- Have the team set up virtual watercoolers and happy hours. Encourage people to stay on after meetings to chat and catch up. It is important to build and maintain empathy during these stressful times. These interactions also help remove the barriers between people and make them feel less isolated.
- Be flexible. Not all traditional processes will work in a virtual world. Be open to different learning styles and ways to handle tasks. Reexamine your priorities. Look for projects that can/should be put on hold and what new ones to prioritze.