Set up your workspace
Find a space in your home where you can concentrate. If you’re somewhere with background distractions, use background blur in Microsoft Teams to keep teammates focused.
Your rhythm with online work from home might look different than it does in the office. For example, you may be balancing work and childcare at the same time. Communicate your schedule to your coworkers so that they know when to reach out to you.
3 Strikes Rule
If online communications with someone is getting bogged down (message ping-pong), pick up the phone. If you have written three or more messages on the same subject a simple phone call will be best practice.
Maintain healthy boundaries
Without the normal workday signals, like a commute, it can be harder to unplug. Make sure to take breaks, stay hydrated, and give yourself opportunities to “clock out” from remote work at the end of the day.
Use Phone over Video
If you don’t need to screen share or see the person you are talking to, use the phone. Video calls need planning, are often fiddly to set up, are distracting and often unnecessary. Phone calls are immediate, simple and direct.
Embrace online meetings
Make sure all meetings include a virtual “join” option so that team members can join from wherever they are working. Turn video on so your team can interact face to face and feel more connected.
Be mindful and inclusive
A crowded conference call can make it difficult for people to share their opinions. Pause frequently to allow time for questions and remind attendees that they can use the chat window to share their thoughts.
Record your meetings
When you start a meeting, hit “record.” Team members who aren’t able to join can watch later or search the automatically generated transcript for important information. That way, people can easily review anything they missed or need repeated.
Make up for missing hallway talk
The quick chat at the water cooler is what many people miss the most when working remotely. Instead, be deliberate about and connecting with your coworkers. Think about chat messages as your virtual watercooler and set yourself a reminder to check in with people regularly.
Bring the team together
Working remotely can feel a bit isolating. It’s important to create opportunities for the whole team to virtually get together, whether it’s large brainstorms with the Microsoft Whiteboard app or daily check-ins over a virtual coffee.
Use Teams to encourage fun activities and challenges to maintain morale. Holding a photo contest or praising employees for creative ideas are great ways to help the team stay positive, engaged and energised.