We are on month 8 of 2020, month 6 of quarantining and what feels like month 1,000,000 of working from home. Like many of you, we’re tired. We’ve been doing less and sleeping more, but we’re exhausted.
There has been a lot of stress, a lot of work-life balance, a lot of everything – and now the kids go back to virtual school and it’s feeling never ending. We HAD to find a good way to make this work.
We have always done most of our work from home, but with Mugsy now a fully virtual office we’ve had to figure out how to stay in touch, keep up team morale and ensure project flow and brainstorming wasn’t stifled when we couldn’t all be in the same space at the same time.
Here are a few steps we’ve taken that have helped our team. Maybe they can help you too!
Stay in Touch
Sure, there are options – Zoom, Meet, Hangouts, Facebook video and so much more, but how do you decide which is best and how to make the new forms of communication work for your team?
First, check out the TechRepublic article on which platform fits your needs best:
Next, Set a schedule for your business meetings and your team morale meetings.
Yes, everyone is at home but that doesn’t mean you can assume they aren’t busy. Time slips away far too easily with everything there is to balance at home. Make sure you have meetings scheduled at least a week in advance to ensure everyone on the team can join stress free!
Keep Up Morale
That brings me to Moral Meetings. Since you’re not spending on team lunches and such, here is where you can splurge a little. Can you Uber Eats everyone on the team their favorite from a local restaurant for a virtual lunch together?
Organize a group game online like a virtual escape room or murder mystery party. Getting everyone thinking outside the box while still working together not only boosts the team spirit, but it gets the creative sparks moving too!
Since time does go by quickly while you’re at home, it is important to maintain hours and workflow. That includes time on the clock, and time off the clock. I make it a point to not send emails to the team at off hours so they don’t feel obligated to work late or in the middle of the night just because they are awake or online.
It is sometimes hard to set boundaries when you work from home and some people find themselves burning out feeling like there is no line between work and personal time. It is important as a business owner and manager that you help avoid that in any way possible.
Even if you write the emails at 3am because you can’t sleep, schedule them to send after 9am!
On the flip side, it can be frustrating as a manager when you know work needs to be done and you aren’t in an office to keep track of each piece. Project management apps like TRELLO help immensely, but before you choose the right management system for your team, don’t forget to re-assess your entire process. Virtual work flows very differently from office/brick-and-mortar work!
Enjoy the Process
Finally, the best way to stay connected is to realize we are ALL in this together. Be kind, be patient and be communicative. Call your team members just to catch up, schedule company wide days off and give your team a surprise break when you can. Encourage smaller breaks throughout the day and whenever possible, stay positive and remind your team that this too shall pass.
Things will change again and again, but the one constant is how your company responds to it!