The global coronavirus pandemic, and subsequent lockdown, has taken many of us by surprise. For most, it has required a sudden and complete change in how we live and work. For most this has meant adjusting to the new norm (for now) of working remotely and as a Manager or Company Owner, managing teams virtually. As a small business, surviving the Coronavirus lockdown with our health, sanity and team intact is of paramount importance to us. We’ve completed almost seven weeks of lockdown and are somehow into May. The reality is that this could go on for sometime to come and working from home fatigue could be starting to set in.
As a company, we have been used to a degree of flexible working. However, the office environment is also a really big part of who we are.
We asked the team which three things they missed most about the office:
- The office banter, yes it can sometimes be distracting and we have to rein it in but it helps us feel closer as a team, it makes us laugh and it’s good for the soul!
- Brainstorming and helping each other out during the day with bits of advice, swapping contacts, showing each other how to perform a specific task/function, making each other hot beverages! The list is endless.
- Going to the gym together at lunchtimes. Not only does it help us keep fit but it great for team bonding and actually getting out and having that break.
Probably not dissimilar to how many of you are feeling?
So what have we put in place to help the team, without experiencing video chat overload at the same time:
1) Daily Catchups Via Microsoft Teams
Meetings take place first and last thing each day. If you’re around you can log in but it’s not compulsory. It’s a good way to create some routine and structure in everyone’s day. They only last about 15 minutes and it’s the perfect opportunity to ask questions, share updates and even moan or whinge about the weather! The morning meeting is work related but the afternoon meeting is Fika, a break where we chat about anything except work.
2) Fortnightly socials via Zoom
The pubs might be closed for the foreseeable but that doesn’t mean all the fun has to stop as well. We’ve found a Thursday evening works better after the #ClapForCarers. We’ve had two outstanding quizzes (one involving fancy dress!) and a third is being planned. We’re thinking of shaking things up a bit though, perhaps bingo or charades next time. What could possibly go wrong?! Again, these evenings aren’t compulsory but it’s one way of getting together and supporting each other as a team. You’ll find some good ideas here.
3) WhatsApp Group
Admittedly, our team’s WhatsApp has been set up pre Covid-19 but it’s definitely getting more use since lockdown. It’s a good way to exchange information from exercise challenges, recipes, photos, videos and jokes. We can also keep each other up to date with any useful articles and information relating to work or just life.
We can’t recreate the office environment at home but staying in touch professionally and socially is helping to improve morale. We’re all having good and bad days but surviving the coronavirus lockdown as a business and team is a shared goal. The industry is tough right now but we all want to make sure we come out on the other side, with company and team intact.
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