It was a morale blow for businesses around the country when Boris Johnson announced Lockdown 2. Coupled with the extended furlough until March 2021, more employees will ‘stay at home’ or work from home.
Many British workers claimed they loved returning to the office. Among their reasoning, they claimed:
- They loved sharing creative ideas in groups
- They had better access to relevant tools
- They were more productive.
So how can we ensure that we still reap these benefits in a home environment?
Stay in Touch Regularly
“Communication is critical during lockdown,” says Nick Wagg, from All Points North DMC.
“Lockdown is by no means an excuse to break the boundaries of reasonable communication,” Nick continues.
“We should still be sticking to our assigned office hours, or whichever flexible working policies we enforce. But there should also be structure. For example, if your teams had a weekly ‘creative huddle’, make sure you recreate this virtually.
“Team members will likely be feeling more anxious at this time, so it’s important that managers have a ‘door always open’ policy”
Nick Wagg, All Points North
Agree to One Communication Stream
Remote working has given rise to a surge in popularity of project management tools.
“While these may be helpful on the surface, there’s the danger of becoming inundated with apps designed to streamline our communications,” warns Nick.
“This could actually make things worse, particularly if somebody missed an email because they were too busy focusing on Microsoft Teams.
“Agree to one communication method and make sure everybody gets the message.”
Appreciate Different Communication Styles
- Thinkers, for example, may take a while to respond and consider every outcome.
- Doers, on the other hand, may be impulsive and want responses right away – great for getting things done, but potentially risky.
“Try and run a few psychometric tests to determine your communication styles,” challenges Nick. “You will then be able to understand why certain team members react the way they do.”
“The key is to move away from confrontation – to understand why others communicate differently.”
“Remember, it is not what we say, but how we say it,” Nick concludes. “This has never been more poignant than over remote communications.
HR Aspects Magazine thanks Nick Wagg for his contribution.
Improve Your Employee Engagement
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The report looks at the significant impact of company culture on employee engagement and how we are adapting to modern-day working patterns.
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