With the spread of COVID-19 and the current lockdown situation, A.J. Boggs & Company (AJB) has sent all of its employees to work from home. But, don’t worry as a modern tech company we were prepared to work and maintain our operations remotely.
We are in week two of social distancing and despite being “ready” on the infrastructure side, it’s been a challenge to adjust to the new normal. Here are some take always from our experience:
Trust is the basis for good work
For some people and leaders this time brings you anxiety and a constant guessing of whether people are actually working. However, keep in mind that being present in the office does not mean the person is productive. Use this opportunity to trust your employees and recognize what value they add to the team.
On the other hand, employees now have to stay focused with the right mindset. It is not just because you are home that you are going to work all day in your pajamas. Start by waking up one to two hours earlier than the time you intend to start working, have some coffee and do some exercise. It is also important to create a routine, set up a separate work area to help yourself stay focused throughout your work day.
Daily Stand Ups
With everyone working remotely, it is harder to check in with your team the way you can at the office. Even if you are not in an IT company, set up a 15 – 20 minutes “Stand up” so people can talk about their tasks, issues and obstacles. This is also important to maintain a team’s perspective and have an opportunity to listen to everyone. You will be amazed how this helps reducing the social distancing anxiety.
As a plus, if you don’t use it already, start using a messaging platform such as Slack, Skype, Microsoft Teams, or WhatsApp.
Virtual Company-wide activities
We recently organized a virtual “Lunch & Learn” and it was excellent to see people participating and enjoying each other’s company. We set it up so during the first 30 minutes a virtual meet and greet lunch, then during the last 30 minutes one of the team members presented a topic. It was a great way to have a little social interaction among everyone in the company. As a plus, if the presentation is positive, then you have the whole deal!
PS: Keep in mind that having your camera on is always a plus to see familiar faces.
Don’t let the excessive number of tools and recommendations from specialists keep you from some basic human interaction. If you feel like talking to a peer, give them a call. Who knows, you might end up having a meaningful conversation or getting help with an obstacle you are facing. If you are in the other end of that call, be comprehensive some people just need to talk to recharge their batteries.
Finally, I hope these tips can help you minimize the anxiety and worries we are currently facing. While I am writing this post, my two-year-old keeps asking me to watch cartoons with him, so that’s another important tip: take advantage of this time to be closer to your loved ones while understanding we are all in the same boat and the best way through this is by working together.