Time has escalated so easily and at least for this period of time, the world works virtually. In contrast to the board room meetings and in-person chats, it has become video calls and virtual meetings, which is the new normal. With no other options left, one should cope up with what it is, and continue running the world even if it is from your home. While communication and engagement is the primary factor that runs an office and the team together towards accomplishing a goal, the same cannot be left back when people work from home too.
Being a worker or a manager, engaging with your team is important to maintain the work. Here’s why.
Even if you feel it is okay to work from home in solidarity, loneliness can creep within you, reducing your interest and feeling less motivated to get the work done, which might not be good for your position at the office.
You know how hard it is to stay motivated if you have suddenly changed from an office life like that in a co working space in Pune to work from home.
People need validation for the work they do and without it, they do not feel like moving on with the work. Managers keep doing it to help the workers stay motivated and inspired for the work every day. The constant communication among the workers is inevitable for the smooth workflow within a company, as it is the teamwork that takes the firm forward.
But, with COVID and the lockdown that followed it, engaging with your team has now become possible only over virtual platforms and obviously, it is a lot harder than usual. Setting up a virtual team building is only 10% of the work, the rest 0% lies in knowing how to manage and cope up with the team in getting the work done.
Tips to engage with the team members virtually during COVID- 19
1. Feed the right information only
Just like you, your employees would also be in fear of the pandemic and scared about the future. Provide only the required information to them, not putting them in harsh situations. The coworking spaces now have a No-Corona talk during business hours to avoid people from having panic attacks and anxiety regarding the current situation.
Stay calm with them, not fueling doubts and worries. Even when you are not sure fo all the answers, make them feel that their questions will be answered once you make sure of them.
2.Involve them in the outreach activities conducted by the firm
A lot of companies and firms are giving in a lot of help towards the corona relief funds, to help the people who cannot get their job done due to the lockdown period in the country. Try to involve the employees as maximum as possible in these activities. Different campaigns are being conducted by different Non Profit organizations in the form of online fundraisers and donations. Try including your team members in those campaigns for arranging such events apart from the salary challenge.
3. Be considerate to your teammate
Not everyone is facing the same situation at home and hence, everyone must be considerate towards each other. Some people might just have to work from home, but few might have to work for home too. Being at home might call for getting home chores too done at times, as the whole family might be at home, with you being homemaker too. So excuse the delays that your teammate might cause, which are not too much of an issue.
4.Understand the mental state of others
The lockdown has been harsh on everyone’s mental state. A lot of people might be in a difficult situation due to loneliness, the boring routines and so on and hence, checking in frequently on your teammates is important.
If he or she doesn’t respond to your queries like usual days, or is deviating from work, talk and get to know about it. Being a manager, arrange online mental support counselling sessions for your employees, if they require and request so.
5.Have an informal meeting time
Apart from the normal business meetings that you might have every day, have an informal meeting every other day, maybe just to talk about how life is and how they have been spending time lately.
Get the most silent person to tell what he or she might have done on the day and maximise the engagement factor among the teammates. There are a lot of challenges that can be done over zoom or a duo video call. Get your team to do it and it will be fun, for sure!
6.Get collective works on priority
During this period of time, the business might seem a bit dull, and hence work for clients might also be slow. But, do not let your workers go on a leave just because of this. It will drive them away from work, lessening their interest. You can get work within the company itself done in teamwork. It can be revamping of the company website, conducting research on some of the techniques to try after COVID or anything of that sort which will bring the team back together.
7. Preparing the agenda and Time schedule
All the meetings must be scheduled and the agenda must be prepared after consultation with every teammate. The manager can send a note around to get everyone’s opinion on the agenda of the meeting, to add anything they want to talk about. This will help everyone say their needs and opinions out loud, even if it is a virtual meeting and this has promised to help people come up with more issues raised than normal days.
Schedule all the meetings upon everyone’s availability or schedule the meeting at the same time every day so that the team can arrange their daily works accordingly.
8. Involve in the small talk
There might still be people who do not open up during the time of informal meetings, who might stay muted all the while. Involve in small talk with them during the moments of connection with them. While you are waiting for someone else to join the call, or when he/she or you try to open a file, fill in the gap with small talk and make them at ease. They will definitely start talking and opening up from the next time.