Who would have thought? A virus is making us change the way we work. Not a computer virus though… Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, I have been reflecting on what I can do for other people. This week I realized I should do the two things that come naturally to me: connect people online and share remote working experiences.
1. Since social media first took off, I became an active user. I saw it as the global connector we had all been waiting for. The last ten years I have built several communities, including Theory U in Practice, which currently has 4200 members and keeps growing.
Relying on my experience in community building, I decided to create the group ConAction, which enables people to keep in touch and feel connected through online events. The members share thoughts, meditate together, watch a movie collectively and more. Feel free to join!
2. In the past four years, I worked almost 100% remotely. In my last blog Berlin, my city of lost souls, I wrote about my struggles with loneliness last year. If this is the first time that you are working from home, this might be one of the challenges you are facing. For managers who are used to seeing people walk in and out of the office, the challenge might entail fear of losing control.
There are people and tools out there that can help you overcome those challenges. In this blog post, I will focus on six aspects of remote working: Relax, Exchange, Meet, Organise, Track and Energise.
Remote working from home can make the boundary between your private and professional space and time unclear. Therefore, it is extra important to create a moment of relaxation before you start working and set a clear start and end time of your working day. You could go for a walk, meditate for 15 minutes or do an online yoga session, following, for example, Yoga With Adriene.
At the office, you have time for chitchat during coffee breaks. When you and your team are working from home, you will have to be creative to keep those essential moments of socializing. You can create daily online drop-in coffee breaks or start a WhatsApp group or a channel on Slack for stuff that is not work-related. Another option is to have weekly activities like Talk Tuesday and Food Friday.
Meeting rooms are oftentimes a great place to meet and discuss the next steps of a project. When working remotely apps like Skype and Zoom will create an online meeting room for you. You can use them for your morning standup meeting or you could even occasionally leave the online connection on all day. It will be essential to become a good online moderator and find the right online/offline balance.
Working remotely, you cannot approach your colleague with your laptop or with a piece of paper to discuss a project. When working remotely you will have to work collaboratively on online documents and use an online agenda. Great tools for this are Google Docs and Google Calendar. It will be important to create a clear inventory of documents and label the final version of documents promptly.
The regular in-person moments of tuning in while having a coffee break will disappear. People might start working during their productivity peaks if they could have flexible working hours. To remain productive as a team, it will be essential to keep track of everyone’s work. Tools like Trello can help you keep track of tasks by capturing the three D’s: to do, doing and done.
At the end of a full working day, it is important to unwind and get energised. This will help increase your performance for the rest of the week. As a team, you could have an ‘end of the day’ checkout call including an energizing activity. As an individual, when going to the gym is not an option, there are many online alternatives like Hashfit for fitness and Studio Sweat for indoor cycling.
If you want to know more about Community Building or Remote Working then contact me.
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