It is highly likely that you are reading this post either from home or from a remote set-up, either self-isolating or socially distancing in light of the global pandemic. For organizations unfamiliar with remote working and optimizing the productivity of resources where geographical colocation is not an option, the COVID-19 pandemic will be a real test of organizational resilience, planning, and efficiency of staff utilization.
Furthermore, the impact on the mental and physical well-being of staff becomes even more of a priority given that the usual methods of checking in (water-cooler conversations, face to face meetings) are no longer available. To that end, here are some top tips we’ve collated internally at APEK to ensure continuous team collaboration, welfare monitoring while also delivering value to clients.
Technology Adoption Will Need to Peak.
It is no surprise that the value and use of collaboration tools such as MS Teams and Zoom have peaked over the last few weeks. As teams get to grips with the mechanics of working remotely, now more than ever, technical competency in the use of these tools becomes even more important.
Organizations that had neglected to invest in sufficient collaboration tools are not only struggling to choose the right one but are struggling even more to gain adoption within their teams. To combat this, leaders should seek consultation from their teams, identify their preferred mode of technology, and facilitate the use of them in creating and maintaining team cohesion.
Flexibility is king. In a cookie-cutter 9-5, office presence environment, there is little room for flexibility given the need to get as much done within a time-boxed period.
In a climate such as that created by COVID-19, it is more likely that work begins at 7am in the dining room. Then one pauses for a couple of hours to attend to children and loved ones. Then continues and takes breaks throughout the day as needed, with the ‘working day’ finally wrapping up, when the work is done rather than when the clock strikes 5.
To get the most out of teams, flexibility, and transparency on what flexibility looks like individual by individual is also vital. One size certainly does not fit all.
Loop Clients In
Your clients are probably in the same boat as you. Anxious and uncertain about how to make things work in this new world.
Rather than wait for clients to raise concerns on how you will continue to serve their business needs and meet agreed-outcomes, proactively involve clients in the discussion early on. This effort allows a cohesive approach to working through problems that may arise as a result of new ways of working.
For more seasoned remote teams, this is just business as usual, but for your clients, it may not be.
Be a strategic partner and support for your clients by recommending best practices.
Social distancing Doesn’t Mean No Socials
Finally, resist the temptation to be all about work. Make time for social non-work-related conversations.
Be that a ‘team hangout’ via a video call, or simply creating a WhatsApp group for jokes and light-hearted entertainment, this will go a long way to restore the relationships and connections lost from being socially distant.
All of these have helped to maintain humanity, connection, and productivity within our APEK teams.
Do you have any other tips that have worked for you and your clients?
Why not get in touch and let us know.