Working remotely is a way of life for the team at Wave6. With much of the world adapting to this "new" normal, we asked our experts to provide you with best practices for virtual teaming. Additionally, hear the team's key tips for working remotely to make the most of your day.
Just like an in-person meeting, make sure the right people are "in the room". Too often, face-to-face meetings can grow in size because we want to make sure the right people are present. Now is a great time to practice your effective meeting skills. Limit participants so your meeting can be engaging without being overwhelming.
Create an Agenda
A detailed agenda keeps the meeting focused to the task at hand. Of course, in these days of social distancing, be sure to build in time to let people catch-up or introduce themselves. Even our introvert friends are seeking conversations these days.
A Dash a Realism
Be realistic about how much can be accomplished. Keep your meetings bite-sized. No one wants to sit in a meeting for hours on end and multitasking is the greatest temptation. Our recommendation is a maximum of 90 minutes. If you need longer than that, break up the meeting into multiple sessions. Additionally, find a way to keep the conversation going through collaborative work spaces where people can ask questions, brainstorm ideas and reflect on the challenges at hand.
When virtual teaming, ensure all participants have access to the same technology. This is a great way to make sure everyone is starting from the same vantage point. As an organization, video conferencing is our tool of choice. We've found video conferencing is an effective way to build relationships with clients and create a positive team dynamic when outside of traditional face-to-face meetings. It also helps hold people accountable for full-participation.
Worried about that Engagement?
Even virtually, there are great ways to keep your participants engaged. Asking for verbal responses, using polling tools, virtual whiteboards, chat feature and more, keep teams engaged. Optimally, plan an activity at least every 10 minutes - or as needed to keep your participants engaged.
Tips from Our Experts
Beyond virtual teaming, here is what our experts have to say about working from home.
- I always wear real shoes, not house slippers. I may or may not be wearing yoga pants/sweatpants, but as long as I'm wearing real shoes, it makes me feel like I'm at "work".
- I keep a pile (literally, a pile) of stress balls on my desk to help get me through calls. I consider myself a stress ball aficionado and my current favorite is the Schylling Snowball.
- I eat lunch at my desk and use my "lunch" time at the end of the day for a run to clear my head and separate work/family time.
- When screen sharing, don't forget to set your status to 'Do Not Disturb' to prevent pop-ups.
- Find your spot. Somewhere in the house that you can claim as your workspace that is away from others. It's hard for family members to realize you are "at work" when they only see a laptop.
- Headphones - Always use headphones. The laptop mics pick up a ton of noise and your families get used to making sure you're not on a call instead of disrupting you.
- Walk - Find some time to get up and walk around.
- Create a Schedule - Start and Stop at a consistent time.
- I find it extremely important to keep my calendar updated, even for outside essential appointments.
- Keep your Teams status updated. Since we collaborate so much, I want to make sure if I'm 'available', I really am.
- Embrace video, it's nice to have face to face conversations, even if it's just for a mental break, our version of the water cooler.
- If you've always showered in the morning, then still shower in the morning. Feeling fresh and cleaned up the entire day always makes it feel less sluggish, especially in times like this.
- Remember to take mini-breaks and get up to stretch if you have been sitting for a long period of time.
We've love to hear from you!
Comment below with favorite Virtual Teaming and Work from Home Tips!