How to Keep in Touch When Working from Home

To help you get into the swing of remote working, here are some of our top tips that cover everything from progress reports to virtual coffee breaks.

Transitioning to regular home working sessions or a long-term remote working setup can come with teething problems.

Some of them are very easy to overcome, such as switching to hosted desktops in order to ensure speed, accessibility, efficiency and digital security. Others can be a bit trickier, such as striking a balance when it comes to staying in touch with colleagues, suppliers, clients and friends.

To help you get into the swing of remote working, here are some of our top tips that cover everything from progress reports to virtual coffee breaks.

If you're a company owner

As the head honcho, you have a fair few people who come under your responsibility.

Depending on the size of your workforce, you can either oversee this entirely yourself or allocate communication champions.

For instance, one person in each department (not necessarily the manager) will ensure that their team is communicating effectively, both with fellow team members and the wider company.

This could be done in a variety of ways, so here are a few suggestions:

  • Hold a companywide video call every Monday morning. This is a great way to ease everyone into the new week, ensure that home workers don't feel isolated, and nurture a feeling of camaraderie between departments.
  • Schedule daily progress reports for teams, held via video call. By dedicating a little time each day to a catch-up, everyone knows how their wider team is performing outside of their individual responsibilities.
  • Allow scheduled or ad hoc one-to-one sessions. Maybe you'd like to make these a regular occurrence that run to a clear schedule, or perhaps it would work better for your business if staff members could request them when required. Either way, a one-to-one chat can be used for anything from general updates to confidential discussions, which demonstrates to employees that your company values them and has time to listen to their thoughts.

If you're an employee

When working from home, it can be easy to fall into the routine of not speaking to colleagues very often.

This is especially the case if your role comes with a fair amount of autonomy and you're left to your tasks for hours or even days in a row.

Though a bit of solitude can be a good thing, it can also lead to lower levels of productivity due to the wider team not knowing your progress on certain projects.

To nip this problem in the bud, take ownership over your communication with co-workers and your line manager.

You don't have to wait for a scheduled meeting to share ideas and insight, plus you may gain new information that proves advantageous to your working week.

Use project management software or an instant messaging app to touch base whenever the need arises.

Choose the right tools

Emails, video meetings, phone calls, instant messages, project management websites and everyday tools such as WhatsApp are used by companies in different ways.

As with everything in life, finding the right balance is key, as staff need to feel connected without being bombarded across multiple platforms.

Too many methods of communication can also prove overwhelming and stressful, so it's a good idea to decide which platforms your company will use.

This might be a case of choosing certain methods in general or allocating particular ones to different types of communication.

For instance, Slack is a great platform that offers threads for different projects and conversations. Meanwhile, you might want to use a WhatsApp group chat for more casual banter that keeps staff connected, motivated and in high spirits.

It's not just about work

Chances are that when all team members are in your commercial premises you spend time together away from your desks.

Common examples are having lunch in the staff room, commuting together, going for a drink after work and maybe even meeting up at the weekend to play football.

Working from home makes it far too easy to sacrifice the social aspect of a company's culture, so put the effort in to keep everyone connected on a more relaxed and personal level.

You should do this in whatever way best fits your brand and its people, although here are a few ideas that you might like the sound of:

  • Take part in an online quiz or escape room
  • Schedule daily virtual coffee breaks
  • Create a "good news" or "just for fun" thread in Slack
  • Ask every member of staff to share one interesting photo each morning via WhatsApp
  • Hold a Show and Tell session via video call (this can be loads of fun and also lead to the uncovering of shared interests)
  • Enjoy a Friday evening pint with teammates over Zoom

Switch to hosted desktops

When used to their full potential, hosted desktops are just as effective at keeping staff connected as they are at fuelling productivity. To find out more, get in touch on 01482 751133 or email hello@gocloud.co.uk.

Free Download: The Complete Home Working Wellbeing Checklist

Download your free wellbeing checklist and take control of your mental and physical health whilst home working.

This checklist will help you:

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Start your days with energy
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Create structure in your home office
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Use lunch breaks to maximise your wellbeing
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