Article

Keep your team connected and motivated

Tips and advice to set your team up for success

COVID-19 has significantly impacted Ireland over the past few weeks and will continue to disrupt our economy, work life and personal life for months to come. Remote working will be the norm for most of us and our teams for the foreseeable future. Follow this guide to empower your team to work differently and enable seamless collaboration and teamwork.

Ten tips for remote working

01 

 Designate a workspace for focus in your home

02 

 Develop a daily routine

03 

 Embrace technology tools for collaboration

04 

 Communication frequently with your team

05 

 Remain contactable as much as possible during work hours

06 

 Do not over-rely on email/IM - Use phone/VC 

07 

 Block your calendar for work and break times

08 

 Dedicate time for informal social interactions

09 

 Regularly review your performance with your manager

10 

 Don't be afraid to switch off at the end of the day

Key tip: Make healthy habits a part of your routine

Four areas to fuel your physical and psychological well-being:

Working remotely can have positive outcomes such as increased productivity, employee satisfaction and better work-life balance. However, prolonged periods of working remotely may negatively influence your mental and physical health. To ensure continuous productivity, engagement and high employee morale, it is critical to take care of the overall well-being of your team.

Show empathy

As you navigate working remotely, remember to stay empathetic to others in their adjustment to their new working environment.

  • Be patient: Understand that everyone is working in a different environment with different challenges.
  • Watch your tone: Be conscious of your tone when interacting electronically.
  • Be respectful: Respect people’s availability to work and interact with them accordingly.
  • Trust your team: Trust that your team members are completing their work even from home. 
  • Avoid presentism: By encouraging your team to focus on outcomes rather than the clock.

Set boundaries

One of the most difficult challenges in working from home is to remain focused and motivated. Boundaries are critical in maintaining momentum.

  • Set working limits: Set clear start and end times for work and breaks to avoid burnout in the long run.
  • Stick to a schedule: Set objectives for the day and be clear timelines.
  • Reflect on your day: This will give you a sense of satisfaction and will help you to keep going. 
  • Switch off and unplug: Shut down all work devices and leave them at your designated work spot.

Practice healthy habits

People often let go of healthy habits when working from home. Boost your physical well-being by following the below tips.

  • Take breaks: Schedule breaks in your calendar and use the time to stretch.
  • Eat healthy and regularly: Eat every 2-3 hours and use a water bottle to stay hydrated.
  • Sleep enough: Try and maintain your sleep routine for optimum alertness.
  • Exercise: Get some fresh air and exercise every day while maintaining social distancing.
  • Clear your mind: Use meditation apps such as Headspace and Calm to relax and decompress.

Stay Connected

Remote working can sometimes lead to a feeling of isolation and an overall lack of connection between team members.

  • Video calls: Schedule regular video calls and check-ins with the team to allow people to see each other.
  • Virtual coffee: Connect with your co-workers through virtual coffee breaks or virtual after work drinks.
  • Well-being check-ins: Schedule team well-being check-ins to discuss how people are doing outside of work.
  • Recognise effort: Recognise effort on a public forum and in one-to-one interactions.

Tips for leaders:

Assume positive intent with all team members and have a conversation before making a conclusion about how work is getting done – ambiguity is inherent in having team members working virtually and can lead to assumptions about focus and commitment to work. A relationship of trust, respect, open communication, and clearly defined expectations are essential for success.

Host effective virtual meetings

As we shift towards virtual meetings, the following are tips to help empower your team members to work differently:

Think about your audience
Carefully consider who you invite to the meeting – the smaller the group, the greater the interaction

Prepare for your meeting
Choose the best virtual tools for the meeting, test
the technology beforehand and join a few minutes
early

Be inclusive
Encourage participation and give everyone a chance to speak

Collaborate
Encourage collaboration during the talk instead of one-way communication from the meeting host

Make it interactive
Incorporate interactive elements such as polls, discussions and comments from attendees

Be present
Switch on your video to create a closer connection between attendees, people also tend to focus more when on video



Social Initiatives at Deloitte 

Daily stand-up
15-minute check in at the start of the day to share updates and get the day started

"Quarantea"
Managers invite 3-4 team members for a social chat

Virtual Gatherings
Create informal opportunities to connect with your co-workers, perhaps through an end of the week virtual happy hour.

Key tip: Set boundaries with how you schedule calls. Allow for 10-15 minutes between calls to debrief and rest before jumping onto the next one

Motivate your team

Covid-19 has had a monumental impact on life as we know it and within the space of a couple of weeks, our normal routines have shifted significantly. Staying connected with your team at this time and instilling motivation is more important than ever. How do we embrace our new ways of working and drive motivation?

The following tips outline how you can establish intrinsic motivation, and motivate others:

Set expecations:

  • Define what is possible for team members given their current working situation.
  • Define rules of engagement. Decide how often to communicate, give updates and when people should be available for teamwork.
  • Track progress in real-time. Use software to keep people updated on tasks.

Lead by example:

  • Demonstrate commitment to the success of remote working by using the same tools your team are using to communicate and work.
  • Use your video where possible to create personal connection and inspire others.

Refresh roles and responsibilities:

  • Team leaders should review, update and ensure clarity of roles and objectives within the team while working remotely.
  • It is vital that you are accessible to your team and establish open channels of communication for questions or concerns.

Seek perspective:

  • Take your team’s perspective on-board to develop constructive goals and define how to achieve them.
  • Be patient and make an effort to see the situation from your team’s point of view.
  • Allocate time during check-ins to discuss what is working well and ask for suggestions on what to build out further while the team is working remotely.

Celebrate success:

  • Schedule time on Fridays to celebrate any achievements from the week (professional or personal) and share good news stories.

Be Flexible:

  • Remember to always be prepared to adjust your plan.
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