Kiandra Insights

16 Ways to Stay Together While Working Apart

Cassie Wallace - Head of Software Development
Cassie Wallace
Head of Software Development
March 25, 2020
Cassie Wallace
Head of Software Development
March 25, 2020
An illustration of a person working from home at their desk surrounded by plants and pets

A happy and engaged team is vital when we’re all physically distanced. However, for many businesses keeping people together while working apart isn’t easy.

Here are some simple things you can do to keep your people engaged and feeling like they’re part of something bigger.

Make it personal

  • Pick up the phone. We often work in a flurry of instant messages, but pick up the phone every now and then – you’ll build a closer working relationship and it just might be the only time your colleague sees someone that day.
  • Have virtual coffee catch-ups. We all love our morning routines, so why not create a standing video conference and share your morning coffees together.
  • Coexist. Open a video chat and leave it on for a while. This can be incredibly handy if you’re working on a collaborative project with someone.

Challenge and reward each other

  • Keep learning. Don’t let development slide, do a Coursera learning course together a few hours per week. Or, even share TED talks – they’re an endless source of development content.
  • Give your team fun KPIs. Give people time to work on something different with others so they can challenge themselves and stay motivated.
  • Keep celebrating success. Promote achievements through your group chats or team meetings. Not just pats on the back, but celebrate the technique applied or process used.

Encourage sharing

  • Photo of the day. Pick a theme (appropriately!) and encourage your team to post a relevant photo. It’s a great way to start conversations and learn a little more about each other.
  • Quiz time is the best time. Do the daily quiz via video chat with your team, just like you would at lunchtime. Better yet – make it a virtual lunch and quiz time!
  • Set group fitness challenges. Remote working can reduce your daily steps to a mere 10% of a normal day, so get moving together and keep tabs using a fitness tracker.

Make it fun

  • Share the music you love. While our Head of Software believes the best music is instrumental, sharing playlists is a great way to appreciate, or at least accept your colleagues' unusual tastes in music.
  • Start a podcast club. Nominate podcast episodes to listen to while you work or exercise and meet up online to discuss.
  • Get to know new people. Play online games to get to know someone, it doesn’t have to be Fortnite but it could be something as simple as Words with Friends.

Run better meetings

  • Keep it short and snappy. Remote working naturally reduces face time, so keep in touch with shorter, more regular meetings - you’ll be amazed how much you can get through in 15 minutes!
  • Make team catch-ups more frequent. Make the time to meet with your team more regularly. It’s important to keep checking in with each other often.

Support each other

  • Check-in with each other. Pay attention to who’s absent and make sure they’re ok. It’s too easy to feel isolated and social distancing is a huge adjustment for us all.
  • Be more present than ever. It’s easy to just listen to video calls or fade into the background of message chats. But challenge yourself to stay involved and have your say or share that photo!

Effective Ways to Maintain a Healthy Relationship While Working Remotely

With the rise of remote work, many of us are finding ourselves in uncharted territory, trying to navigate the professional and personal aspects of our lives from our homes. One of the most important things to maintain during this time is a healthy relationship with our colleagues and our loved ones. In this post, we will explore some effective ways to keep those relationships strong while working remotely.

Use Video Conferencing

Video conferencing has become the norm for remote teams looking to communicate and stay connected. Whether it's Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Skype, video conferencing simulates the in-person experience of communication, which is essential to preventing miscommunication and keeping people connected. Set up regular video conference calls to maintain a sense of camaraderie and to avoid isolation.

Establish Remote Work Boundaries

When working from home, it can be challenging to separate work and personal life, which can cause burnout and stress. Enforcing clear boundaries with colleagues and managers can help avoid getting overwhelmed. Establish set work hours, take breaks, and communicate schedules with everyone involved.

Collaborate on Shared Goals

Collaborating with remote colleagues fosters teamwork and cooperation. Sharing a common goal allows for mutual support, feedback, and encouragement. Working together ensures a smoother and efficient workflow, which is crucial when working remotely.

Maintain Regular Communication

Regular communication breeds healthy relationships, which is why it is essential to keep in touch with remote colleagues frequently. Even informal texts, calls, or messages check-ins to say hello or see how things are going can make a significant impact. Simple gestures go a long way and help maintain a sense of connection.

Encourage Team Building

As silly as it may sound, virtual games, streaming videos, and other remote activities can act as team-building exercises. These activities play a critical role in building rapport and increasing camaraderie amongst colleagues. Encourage activities that help create a sense of community, such as trivia games, workout sessions or virtual coffee breaks.

Maintaining relationships while working remotely is not a new concept, but it is something that we all need to embrace as the norm. Whether you are working remotely due to personal reasons, a global pandemic, or a work from home policy, the importance of building and maintaining healthy relationships remains the same. With the tips mentioned above, you can keep the remote workflow efficient, less stressful and ensure a sense of connection and camaraderie amongst remote colleagues. Remember, little things can make a big difference.

Want to share these tips with your team? Download the 16 Ways to Stay Together While Working Apart poster.

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