Are you or your employees working at home or away from the office? Don’t let all of your team building efforts go to waste! Read and share these helpful tips for remaining productive and connected to the team even when working at home.
With the Olympics threatening to bring London to a standstill this summer, the Government has suggested that many people should work from home during the games. Approximately a third of employers in the capital have agreed to help staff work from home some or all of the duration of the games, and 13% of bosses are actively encouraging their workforce to work from home during the Olympics.
Working from home certainly means that you avoid being struck in traffic jams and being squashed on the tube. However, it can, if you’re not careful, mean losing team morale and motivation and can leave you feeling isolated and disengaged.
Here are a few tips to ensure that time spent working from home is a productive and enjoyable experience.
- Set up your work area, preferably away from distractions such as the television and children. Have everything close to hand that you will need whilst you’re working from home. Ensure that family and friends realise that your time at home needs to be spent working and you’re not welcoming social calls.
- Get dressed! Whilst working from home should mean a break from a formal suit and tie, try to avoid working in your pyjamas or leisure wear. Getting dressed for work signals a change from your normal home routine into an office routine and mentally prepares you for the day ahead.
- Meet up with nearby colleagues. If you have any colleagues who live nearby, arrange to meet them for lunch or take turns working from each other’s homes. Not only will this keep you from feeling isolated but it will also help you to motivate each other.
- Set your hours; try to keep roughly the same hours as you would do if you were in the office. It’s very easy to get carried away with work and forget the time, have scheduled breaks (to maybe catch some of the Olympics) and always have a lunch hour. If you plan to change your working hours, ensure that you’ve informed your colleagues.
- Don’t eat at your desk. Take a break from your work and grab your lunch in the kitchen or in front of the TV for the 100m hurdles final. Set an alarm if you need a reminder of when to start work again. Try to avoid doing odd jobs around the house in this time as you’re likely to get carried away, forget the time and end up going over your allotted hour.
- Get on Skype. Make sure all members of the team are on Skype, this way they can communicate face to face with each as they would in the office. You can also have conference calls via Skype, great for team meetings and sharing information.
- Communicate regularly. Ring colleagues and team members on a daily basis to touch base with them and ensure that everyone is OK.
- Share best practices. Different roles will face different difficulties when working from home, share good ideas and initiatives that make the job easier.
- Arrange a social event for when the Olympics have finished. This gives everyone something positive to look forward to and the team will be reunited in good spirits.
Thanks for reading our article! The key to keeping a work team intact — even when some of its members are working at home — is to reinforce trust, communication, organisation, and creative thinking that comes from effective team building events. Take a look at what Accolade Corporate Events has to offer!