Tips for Working at Home

Goals

To determine tips to unify teams working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Early Findings

  • Managers can use an individualized approach to help employees to feel a sense of connection with their managers, and to motivate staff while weighing their emotional responses to the changes to ensure they are able to perform at their best.
  • Mangers should ensure that their staff have all the necessary equipment to work efficiently inclusive of the use of technology/digital platforms to ensure that all staff members are able to collaborate as needed or for the purpose of getting/providing support. Teleworking has proven to be successful, according to Gallup.
  • There should be open communication as much as possible between the organization's leaders and their staff members to help them to feel connected with each other and supported by management. This can be in the form of regularized video conferences, emails or video posts.
  • Apps such as Slack (for instant messaging individually or in groups) or Zoom or Skype for videoconferencing can be used to make this process easier. It can be used for calls to managers at the beginning and/or end of the day, to maintain and increase communication.
  • These apps are considered to be useful in fighting the feeling of isolation as well as promoting "team unity and productivity".
  • With the potential to become distracted with children and household chores, companies could implement creative measures to create a sort of "virtual office" to encourage employees to remain focused. "Barbara Larson, a professor of management at Northeastern University in Boston who studies remote working" suggested doing activities such as "virtual pizza parties or remote happy hours where people dial in and share a cocktail on Slack or Skype".
  • Some other suggestions of maintaining a "virtual office" includes celebrating birthdays, doing public praises and having casual conversations. The level of connectivity and increased level of communication can help those living alone and those feeling isolated to become more engaged and less likely to feel depressed in these stressful times.
  • It is also important for managers to get support as well, because their management style might be affected in the process of working from home. They might also have concerns and their emotional responses might need to be addressed to also help them function efficiently.

Proposed next steps:

You need to be the project owner to select a next step.