As the vast majority of the UK prepares for a possible lockdown amid the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, social media is full of office workers suddenly finding themselves working from home. For most of these workers remote working is a novelty, and not having to face the rush-hour commute is a luxury.
It is important to remember, however, that not everybody will be suited to working from home, no matter how new and exciting this week has felt. As next week begins, we’re going to start seeing the cracks emerge in people’s mental armour. Some people thrive in social situations, their interactions in the office with their colleagues energising them throughout their workday. Others may not be able to switch off at 5pm, instead finding themselves still hunched over their laptop at 9pm.
Whilst many companies have been focusing on the logistics of remote working (how can we maximise output and productivity? How do we keep our customers engaged and trading in uncertain times?), it’s important to remember that a lot of your staff are also going through quite a major life change right now, adjusting working patterns and habits, and those with families will also have new responsibilities to juggle.
At Adam, we were lucky enough to be well set up for remote working before COVID-19 hit. We were already making use of all of our available technology, and taking the time to train our colleagues on how to use it all. We wanted our clients, candidates, and colleagues to feel confident that we could ride this storm together.
One of our biggest challenges when we began planning for remote working was to tackle isolation, and to keep our teams connected to each other as much as possible. The team here at Adam are a social and close-knit group, and we believe that this mentality is what makes us who we are as a company. This meant that we needed to find ways to keep everyone connected.
Daily video meetings
Twice a day, every day, our individual teams all have a 15 minute video meeting. One to start the day, and one to end it. This way, we all get together to talk, catch up on each other’s news, and to see other faces! It helps keep the loneliness at bay, and reminds us all that we are in it together and still a team even when we’re not in the office.
Having a work group chat on WhatsApp has been another lifeline for Adam staff. We can instantly share our successes with our colleagues, keep each other up to date on tid-bits of information, and (most importantly) we can share photos of our new, furry work companions! A steady stream of pet photos will do wonders to cheer you up!
When you can, call
In our current, technology-focused times, if you need to ask a colleague a quick question, it’s second nature to just fire of an email. However, if you have the time, try picking up the phone and calling instead. A brief, two-minute telephone conversation can help keep those feelings of isolation at bay, as well as breaking up the day a little. Stand up from your desk (or makeshift desk!) as you talk, and take the opportunity to stretch your legs.
End of week (virtual) drinks!
At Adam, we’re a pretty social bunch, and often have drinks on a Friday afternoon. Of course, this isn’t something that is possible right now, so our CEO, Richard, has set up a virtual drinks event! From 4pm, our entire staff will be meeting virtually – drinks in hand, of course – to catch up on the week, ask any questions we have for the leadership team, and to unwind a bit! Something like this can have such a positive impact on all of our colleagues mental health.
Does your business have any top tips to keep the feelings of isolation away, and ways of keeping teams connected? Please, do share! In these uncertain times, we believe that building our communities is so important.