With Covid-19 being all we’ve been able to focus on for the past week, it’s feasible that many of us will have already sorted a few practical methods for working remotely – video-conferencing, daily check-in meetings, Cloud sharing platforms and group emails.
However, at Employment Plus we know first-hand ‘it’s never just a job’. Aside from financial security and independence, jobs also bring us connection, comradery and as some of us choose or are forced to take time from work during the Covid-19 pandemic… we may really miss each other!
What makes us work well together as a team are shared values; how we gel enhances the daily functions and commercial success of our roles. It’s why a good cultural fit is important.
Here are some ways to stay connected with work colleagues (mates!) to provide the familiarity and comradery that will not only provide a sense of normality during this anxiety-provoking period, but will also benefit our quality of output
If you have a staff intranet system – establish a way that you can make this accessible remotely.
We all chat about footy, family and current affairs with our colleagues… maybe in the kitchen at breaks, or at the beginning or end of meetings. So, amplify an existing section or formalise a new dedicated space for staff banter, that they can access directly from the home page of the Intranet.
From a company perspective, commit to a regular time to post updates on staff policies on Covid-19 and/or invite questions from staff, which can be answered to the group without identifying the staffer for everyone’s interest.
You can also clearly set up codes of conduct for when to avoid coming in to work – which will no doubt need to be regularly amended as medical policy adapts to the crisis. A further set of conduct specific to this pandemic can also be shared: how we treat people directly impacted by Covid-19 as a company and as a work mate. What are our protocols to support those people?
Another way staff can comment on feeds remotely, which doesn’t clog email inboxes but can be easily logged off when you’ve got to focus on a task, is a chat platform like Slack.
It’s known as the ‘glorified chatroom’ for workplaces, there’s a free service but the more comprehensive plans – which provide higher levels of functionality – are a modest $8 and $15 per month.
Different thread conversations can enable people to see all comments cascading like they would in a social media setting, providing the whole context quickly without having to scroll through pages of emails.
There could be one thread about how well the conferencing line is going and any trouble shooting tips. There may be another about combating at-home boredom and the hobbies people are taking up to keep themselves occupied and entertained. You could also have a thread focused on shared tips to keep the kids entertained.
The ability for people to dip in and out means they can as/when they need to feel connected, but they are not interrupted by email notifications when they need to focus.
Closed Facebook group
To be able to share online content easily – advice articles, streaming of government press conferences, breaking news updates and even funny memes – you could set up a private Facebook group.
Given the number of infographics and visual reports on this evolving crisis, re-sharing content from respected sources can save companies a lot of time in not having to repurpose complicated messaging.
Although, a word of warning is that no Facebook page is truly private and you will still need some stringent house rules.
Within reason, you need to allow for a little play amongst the remote work to keep the culture alive!