Using your Tech to Work-from-Home (WFH): Part 5 — Socializing and Collaborating Effectively with Teammates While Working from Home
Now that “working from home” has become the new normal for many organizations, let’s also become productivity geniuses while we’re all inside our lovely homes with our family.
Obvious advantages with this work environment include having adaptable around the work hours, being much more in control of the flow of our day, and the flexibility in the attire we choose while within the comforts of our bedroom or living room. But like everything else, it comes with its disadvantages.
The situation is amplified by the fact that some of us are even forced to be inside of our homes and we are totally unprepared for what comes along with working from home. Those who have been working from home for quite a while now can attest that there can be drawbacks to this kind of work arrangement.
One of the top drawbacks is the feeling of isolation that can lead to depression and anxiety. We have been used to our social interactions at work, or walking every day to our local park and talking to our neighbors — and to stop all that suddenly is sad and frustrating.
So how do you deal with the situation? How can you still socialize and collaborate effectively with friends and teammates while working from home? Here are our few practical tips to help you get through the transition.
Commit to your schedule
Every person who works from home has surely made some of these mistakes in the past. It’s easy to get distracted and wander off the path of productivity if one doesn’t have a schedule they are committed to following. Even when you are inside your home, keep a regular schedule for work time and for family time. Treat the situation as if the only thing that’s different is the work environment.
The opportunity or mandate to work from home may be temporary, for a predetermined period. But in some cases (e.g., with the COVID-19 crisis) we don’t know how long the situation will last. In some situations the loneliness of working from home can feel like it will never end. However, that kind of loneliness will end if you can try various approaches to the situation.
Stretch before you ‘go to work’ (yes – I mean physically stretch your body!) and start planning out the things you’ll do for the day. Keep a journal that can help you jot down notes, pertinent thoughts, and insights. When you’re done for the day, say goodbye to your teammates who are online, and ‘clock-out’ from your laptop. Enjoy the rest of the day with whatever you want to do. Pick up that guitar you’ve been wanting to play, appreciate the fact that you are safe inside your home doing some of the things you love to do.
Co-work or collaborate with teammates
Behind a great work environment is a team that has been unified and has worked hard. When those team members first begin their new work-from-home set-up, not everyone knows what to do. Some teammates might need some help with setting up, choosing the right tools (if you don’t have one), accepting the idea that this will be the type of work that everyone will be doing for a while.
Support your individual team members by collaborating with them or ‘co-working’ with them. Block a time that you can meet and work online. Everyone can see what everyone’s working on, anyone can raise questions and answers will be provided in real-time. Ask your teammates how you can streamline the process to everyone’s agreement and see how you can roll out the new processes in a way that will help them increase their productivity.
For example, GroupLink Workflow Process & Incident Tracking is a cloud-based tool that can help teams increase their productivity, improve communication, and unify workflow & business processes. If a teammate needs help with the tool, aside from GroupLink’s immediate assistance, through co-working, you can guide him on how to use it and simplify this process better for him, too. You can also share ideas and knowledge online, using the knowledge base the GroupLink solution provides for your team in the cloud..
Co-working isn’t a new concept but co-working online may be a new concept for many. In the absence of a physical collaboration, you can still support your teammate online and still cultivating socialization effectively.
The other tools GroupLink offers include GroupLink everything HelpDesk and GroupLink for SafestSchools. These all have excellent workflow and WFH capability. During the COVID-19 lockdown, and for at least 4 months beyond, GroupLink donates and makes each of these cloud-hosted solutions available at NO COST to new organization entities.
To learn more about it, click here.
Keep yourself active
The first thing that you’ll probably think of when we use the word ‘active’ is some kind of physical activity. Not only should we focus on being healthy by doing some physical exercises every day, but we should also manage our mental health and ensure that we are also becoming stronger mentally and emotionally.
Spending possibly weeks or months in isolation (while, in the case of the 2020 pandemic, watching news of millions of people affected by the crisis), can affect our health and our ability to cope mentally. In the case of the Covid-19 crisis, in an effort to help the government flatten the curve, gyms and parks have closed. Sometimes there is really no good place to exercise except at home.
- Be creative when it comes to physical exercise. There are 10 to 30-minute workout videos you can watch on YouTube, or applications that you can install on your phone to get you up and moving. You can even invite your teammates to a shared exercise routine for the day.
- Encourage yourself and your teammates to eat healthy food, and even start building healthy eating habits around team goals. Healthy food can directly impact the way you think, the way you want to set your mood, your metabolism and so much more. Prioritize getting right amounts of proteins, fat, calories, and nutrients (e.g., from green leafy vegetables), and reduce your consumption of red meat.
- Reduce your media consumption. We all need to be aware of what’s going on in the world, but we don’t have to be experts on current events (e.g., the crisis at hand) unless that’s the job. In essence, the time you spend on social media scrolling through your feed mindlessly can drain your mental strength.
- Control what you can, let go of what you can’t. Thinking about things that you don’t have control over (such as a pandemic crisis), won’t do any good for you. It will only lead you to stress and frustration. The things you can control include your time, the food you’re eating, the things you will need to do for the day.
What about you and your team? What are some of the things you do to stay active in spite of the restrains of access to public spaces where you can exercise? How do you stay mentally strong during these times?
Do something kind
With all the “bad news” stories online and on the TV, what we need is a dose of positivity. A teammate of yours might be on the edge of their seat because of stress. Reinforce positive support among yourselves and help to uplift each other’s spirits.
When you want to spread good vibes to your colleagues it’s important to remain realistic with your optimism and to not mask the negative feeling he or she is experiencing. You can send your colleague some delicious food (homemade if you are near them) and call a delivery service to have it sent to their door. Have some short ice breakers during work and encourage everyone to participate. And ask everyone to pay kindness forward to their friends, family, and community.
Check on everyone
Because we’re so caught up with work, finances, and other stresses (like the 2020 outbreak), what matters most to us can become ignored if we’re not vigilant. Give extra attention to your family and friends. It’s important to stay connected with core friends and family.
Give them a ‘wave’ on Facebook. Show support with each other through content that encourages positivity. FaceTime each other and say ‘hi’ to your parents, your boss, and everyone else you know. Now is the best time to show everyone some love and your utmost support.
In times of uncertainty, you can be creative when it comes to socializing and collaborating. We hope that the tips we’ve provided can give you clarity and insight into what you can do at home. Working from home surely can be a bit isolating, but with proper strategies and mindset in place, you’ll definitely excel at productivity and positive energy.
Related Blog Articles
- Introduction: Using your Tech to Work-from-Home (WFH) — An 8-part Guide
- Part 2 of 8: Top 6 Key Concerns About Work-from-Home
- Part 3 of 8: Task Overload vs Smooth Workflow
- Part 4 of 8: How to Setup a Remote Team in the Midst of an Outbreak
- Part 5 of 8: Socializing and Collaborating Effectively with Teammates While Working from Home
- Part 6 of 8: 5 Easy Steps for Effective Delegation of Responsibility
- Part 7 of 8: Ways to Make Stronger Connections with Your Employees When Working From Home
- Part 8 of 8: Summary