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Millions of people are currently working from home. For many business owners and employees, collaboration is key to success, but how do you bring people together when they’re physically apart? Although the lockdown has posed a unique challenge to companies across the world, there are silver linings, one of which is the ability to use technology to promote and facilitate teamwork. If you’re looking for strategies to strengthen ties, boost morale and encourage cooperation, this guide contains some handy tips.
Organising regular team meetings
Ordinarily, if you were at the office, you could pop and see colleagues, check in on them and discuss group projects as and when you wanted. In the age of lockdown, it’s not as easy to get together, but there are ways to keep in touch and work as a team. Organising regular meetings is an excellent way to keep on top of collaborative projects, encourage communication between colleagues and departments and enable employees to benefit from the social interaction they may be missing while spending time at home. If you plan a virtual meeting every Monday and Friday, or you have a get-together once a week, everyone will be kept in the loop, employees get a chance to see familiar faces and you can discuss any issues, problems or exciting updates that have cropped up since the last meeting.
Injecting some fun
For many people, the COVID-19 crisis has been tough, and there have been limited opportunities to socialise, to see friends and family and to celebrate the end of a long and busy working week with exciting weekend plans. As an employer, it’s crucial to recognise the benefits of injecting a little bit of fun into the working day and encouraging your employees to find a healthy work-life balance. Instead of spending all your time online talking about projects or discussing work-related issues, plan a weekly event or organize virtual social plans. Get everyone together for a drink on a Friday night, celebrate birthdays with online gatherings, or plan a fun party with a virtual photo booth and interactive games if you hit a deadline or you get great feedback from a client. Technology makes it easy to connect with others, even when you’re miles away from them, and you don’t need to see people in the flesh to have fun.
Utilising tools and resources designed for groups
Technology has played a critical role in enabling teams to function during lockdown, not solely because it allows people to talk to each other via video chats and conferences, but also because it provides simple, seamless ways for multiple individuals to work on the same tasks. Using tools, resources, programmes and software that are designed for groups can help to increase efficiency, prevent delays and make it easier for employees to keep up to date with progress. With innovative software, you can input data, share files and make notes in real-time, you can chat with colleagues via instant messaging, and you can access documents or data, no matter where you are.
Providing frequent updates
The Coronavirus crisis has turned the world on its head, and the last few months have been unpredictable and surreal. The scenarios we face are changing day by day, and the future remains uncertain. At a time when nothing is set in stone, it’s vital for employers and business owners to communicate with employees and customers. Provide frequent updates about how the business is working to accommodate guidelines and new measures and how it is adapting to make the best of the situation. Talk through video calls and meetings, organise one-to-one chats with individual team members, send out emails with news or changes of policy and make sure employees have access to support or advice if they need it.
Set team goals
Setting goals is an excellent way of encouraging collaboration and enabling people to work together with a shared ambition. Outline clear instructions, ensure every individual understands their role and keep checking in to see how everyone is doing. Celebrate reaching milestones as a team and try and establish short-term and long-term goals. Reward hard work and motivate your team to keep working towards the end target.
The COVID-19 crisis has triggered a mass exodus from offices, and many teams are now working from home. While it may not be as easy to get together for meetings and to socialise with colleagues while restrictions are in place, there are several ways to champion collaboration. As an employer, it’s beneficial to organise regular meetings, to set goals, to provide access to technology and tools that facilitate seamless group work and to inject a bit of fun into the working week.