For over a decade the Ideal Solutions team has been working together, but virtually, in different states and time zones, and at different hours of the day. For years this made us business unicorns.
Oh, how times have changed!
The rest of the business world had to adjust to a new normal that has been normal for us all along. We’re curious, how’s it going? Do not feel embarrassed if the answer is, “Bumpy at best.” We understand.
What we’ve known for years is something many organizations are learning now: Working well as a virtual team requires more than just working on laptops at home. It requires a conscious effort, using the right tools, a shift in expectations, and adjustments to the usual team process.
There’s good news: it is possible to make it all work and work very well. This pandemic is scary and stressful enough. We’d like to help your businesses recover from the whiplash and successfully adjust to this new way to work.
Here are four of our top tips:
Tip 1:It’s not business as usual.
Children are at home and many need to complete daily schoolwork. Older family members may need assistance. Grocery stores can’t restock staples quickly enough. Spouses and partners may have lost jobs. And then, there’s the possibility of getting sick. Setting clear expectations for your team will help them stay focused. But, keep an open mind that your expectations may need to be adjusted frequently.
Tip 2: Get very specific with your deadlines.
For example, rather than say, “I need this by Wednesday,” say, “Wednesday at 11 pm.” For all of the above reasons, employees may not be able to be at computers during “normal business hours” so adjust your targets accordingly.
Tip 3: Pick up the phone.
It’s so much easier to walk over to a colleague or manager and resolve a matter quickly. It’s tough to do the same over email. A phone call may prove to be the quickest way to come to a solution rather than 5, 10 or 15 emails.
Tip 4: Add to your work toolbox.
Supplement the business-as-usual computer programs with those that will help you work collaboratively and virtually. At Ideal, we use Asana for project management and JoinMe for team meetings and screen sharing. Other good ones are Slack for organized conversations by topic, and Zoomfor video conferencing.
We’ve been sharing work from home ideas every day on our social media channels because we believe if we all share our best tips and tricks, we can all help each other.
Got questions? Send us a message. Stay safe and take care!