We live in unprecedented times and with the rise of worldwide uncertainty and with more and more social distancing regulations in place, many workforces have had to move from a comfortable office space to home “offices.”
This is a massive shift and the somewhat “overnight” change can be overwhelming and difficult to get used to, especially for workers who thrive on routine and person-to-person interaction. As a writer, I prefer spending my work time in a quiet environment but I also enjoy bonding with co-workers and getting out of the house (from time to time.) I have always been used to an office environment and 2020 threw that complacency out the window and forced me to create my own home office, learn how to use new online tools for office communication, and engage with co-workers from around the world. And to be honest, it has been incredible!
Nexa has established the most streamlined communication tools to help all teams connect and work together seamlessly from the comfort of our own homes. From online communication and management tools, to digital initiatives designed to create a close-knit workplace community.
In this article we take a look at some helpful tools to ensure your team is connected at all times, and we take a look at some fun tips that will help improve team engagement and workplace culture.
Create a Morning Routine
When I used to work in an office I had a strict morning routine that quickly got me into work mode. Wake up, have some coffee, shower, get dressed, have breakfast, and head into the office bright and early - that was it. Simple. It was all I needed to get me ready for the day and I thrived on that simple routine. Now that we are working from home, we no longer have that routine and commute to work - but what I have learned is that we can essentially re-imagine that time and that commute.
For example, have a cup of coffee during the time you would be driving to the office, or set up a Zoom meeting with a colleague at that time to catch up and create a sense of bonding and work-readiness. Managers can also assign these coffee catch ups with their teams and create a rotation throughout the whole office to ensure this “bonding” time that would otherwise take place organically in an office space.
Many businesses struggle to retain that sense of company culture once the office has shifted to remote working. However, thanks to communication tools like Zoom, it is easy to schedule in time for workplace conversation. For example, the Nexa team has designated time for virtual games once a week and these games are open for anyone in the company to play through zoom. We have played bingo, trivia, pictionary and have even had scavenger hunts before. This is a great way to keep company culture alive in the comfort of our own homes, Shout out to the Nexa gamemasters, Gary and Sam, who put the games together every week - this was especially important when we were all under lockdown - it eased our stress and gave us much needed laughs.
Working with a team, while working remotely, can quickly become a challenge if you do not have the relevant systems for communication in place. At Nexa, we make use of Slack - a remote and easy to use team tool that provides streamlined communication and offers an always-on online communal space for our team to chat, discuss ideas, ask questions, and share comments.
What makes Slack such a powerful tool for teamwork is that it is centralised and you are able to create a variety of channels for different themes and subjects, ensuring all communication is catalogued and easy to find. There are many tools on the market that you can use to ensure this kind of communication and team management - and the tools keep evolving with the times - which is awesome!
We also use Zoom (as stated previously) for worldwide communication and online meetings. It is one of the most reliable and easy to use video call and screen sharing apps available. The platform delivers great video quality, a simple and intuitive user interface, and comes at a very low price - with a free option available. Through this platform you are also able to record calls and share screens - ensuring for the most streamlined communication - ideal for team work and management!
Ultimately, working from home is something we all have to get used to and finding virtual tools to ensure team management, communication and company culture are vital for long-term business success. Thanks to online tools, this is becoming increasingly easier and easier. Plus, I have found that remote working with the above tools has helped me grow in creativity, productivity and have actually helped me develop even stronger relationships with team members.