With the physical restrictions in place due to COVID-19, teams are looking for ways to stay connected while they work from home. Here are 5 ways that our team is handling the physical isolation restrictions that you may find helpful for your team.
1. Daily Virtual Team Huddle
To set a “connected” tone for the day even while working from home, we start every workday with a 15 minute Virtual team huddle. Our team dedicates a few minutes at the start for catching up, then each team member answers the following 3 questions:
- What did you accomplish yesterday?
- What are your key priorities for today?
- What do you need help with?
We start each day remembering that even though we’re physically apart, each of us is still an important part of one team.
2. Clever Technology
Technology is here to help us work smarter, not harder. With teams being physically separated, it’s important to use the right tools to stay connected.
Internal communication: SLACK
Organizations loved Slack before COVID-19, but the platform has recently seen a sharp increase in users since most teams are working remotely. It’s a great way for teams to stay connected through direct messaging, private groups, and chat rooms (channels) organized by topic. Slack reduces the number of internal emails, and the search feature is convenient for finding files, conversations and people. A great feature is that Slack also integrates easily into other services that your team might already be using.
Virtual meetings: ZOOM
You may have heard of Zoom as a great solution for having dinner with your extended family; it also has business applications! In addition to its video and chat capabilities, Zoom has breakout rooms where users can leave the main meeting, get into smaller video chat rooms, then re-join the main meeting. The platform also has webinar solutions that include ways to engage the audience even at a distance. Talk about staying connected while you work from home!
3. Versature Phone System
Using Versature for our phone system meant that employees had the option to bring their physical phone home from the office, call directly from our computers, or use the mobile App on our cell phones. This provides a single point of contact for clients, colleagues, and partners whether at the office or working from home. Versature’s online portal SONAR is intuitive and easy to use. It gives us all the stats we need related to call volume, missed calls, changing voicemail greetings, and more.
4. Microsoft 365 Platform
The Microsoft 365 platform (formerly called Office 365) is cloud-based, which means users can access it no matter where they are. Currently, our team uses it: to share files securely (OneDrive) versus sending things by email; to easily schedule meetings with clients and internally; and to access our emails.
5. Friday Beer O’clock
Every Friday, we schedule a fun “beer o’clock” Zoom call at 4pm where we take some time to relax together. (Beer is not required to make it work!) It’s important to maintain connection with each other outside of work-related communication. We often did Friday beer o’clocks at the office before the COVID-19 shutdown, and it was important for us to maintain the tradition even when we’re physically separated.