How to Stay Connected When Your Staff/Team is Working from Home

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many employers to scramble to set up the technology required to allow employees to work from home. If you and your team are used to working in the same space, the adjustment requires more than technology.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to increase your sense of connection and your ability to work as a team. Here are some suggestions.

Use Online Meeting Tools

Online meeting software Zoom has seen a huge increase in users since governors began issuing stay-at-home orders. Zoom software allows multiple users to connect to a meeting, and they have a free option that you can use if you don’t want to (or can’t afford to) pay for a service.

Zoom’s free plan includes:

If you upgrade to their Pro plan, which costs $14.99 per month, the maximum meeting length goes up to 24 hours and you’ll get some useful admin features that will allow you to change the settings for your Zoom meetings. The company has also created a resource page for users during the pandemic, which you can find here.

You may also want to use some of the following tools:

This is just a sampling of what’s available. If you’re looking for something specific, use Google or connect with other small business owners to ask what they’re using.

Set Up a New Routine

One of the most important things you can do for your staff is to create a new “normal” so that they know what to expect every day. Some of y our employees may need guidance on how to work from home, and some may need more structure than they normally do.

Here are some suggestions for setting up your new work routine.  

  1. Have a daily check-in, preferably early in the day, where you get together on a video conference or conference call and talk about the day.
  2. Be clear in your expectations and create written workflows when necessary.
  3. Use Google Docs to create a schedule and post assignments. (If you already use project management software such as Asana or Slack, you can use that instead.)
  4. Encourage your staff to talk one-on-one and brainstorm ideas as needed.
  5. Set up clear milestones and goals and make sure everyone understands them.

Communication has never been more important than it is now, and it’s your job as a business owner to take full advantage of the tools available to you to keep the lines of communication open.

Show Compassion

Connection and compassion go hand in hand. If you want your employees to feel connected to one another and to you, it’s essential to let them know that you understand and respect their feelings – and to give them room to feel them.

There are a lot of uncertainties in our lives now, but we can still find ways to feel connected to one another. Ultimately, creating a sense of connection will help make your employees more productive as they adjust to the new normal.