Ways to Stay Engaged with Your Team While Working from Home

Many software teams were forced to work remotely because of the onset of the global pandemic of COVID-19. Months in, most teams have now found their pace and made their peace with it. Hopefully, you’ve gotten comfortable and set a routine for yourself in your new work-from-home setup.

But are you engaging enough with your colleagues? Or are your conversations limited to virtual meetings and video calls? It’s important to have other ways of staying connected with your team.

As an organization, it is important to realize that however close-knit or small your team may be, not having a proper open channel of communication may make people feel out of the loop. In my article published at Testrail blog, I have discussed some tips on how to keep yourself and your team engaged when working from home.

Bump up communication

Before, it may have been enough for the manager to have one-on-one conversations with team members once a month, but our new remote situation calls for a little more. Managers should increase the frequency as well as the quality of the conversations they have with their teams. Strive to understand what teams are struggling with, remove their impediments, and ensure a smooth workday for each person.

As a team member, you too now have the responsibility to stay in touch with your peers more often. It is important for you to participate more in conversations with others rather than just being a spectator in your group chats or calls. A simple greeting and an update about what you are working on today is a good start that helps others peek into your day, and it increases the chances of their doing the same.

Provide clear directions

Managers and leaders need to focus now more than ever on setting up open lines of communication within teams. Give clear directions about what is expected of everyone, share what you feel about their work in the form of constructive feedback, and ask them their opinions. It is important to be empathetic and understanding and to have a listening ear.

In the middle of this chaos, it is important for people to have specific instructions, tasks, and goals so that they can focus on achieving objectives and have some structure to their days. Achieving these small tasks will make their time more productive and motivate them to get more done!

Don’t just talk about work

When we were in the office, we didn’t just talk about work all the time! So why should that be the case now? In whatever messaging system you use, you can create a separate group where people can chat informally about anything — their latest recipes, workouts, family news, or daily struggles. Let your team have a safe space to have conversations and check up on each other.

You can take the initiative and reach out to your colleagues to ask how they are doing and just talk. These small gestures can mean a lot in the long run. You can even propose and host a half-hour meeting every Friday afternoon where everyone can grab a snack or drink and chat over a group video call. It may seem cheesy or mundane at first, but it makes a lot of difference to break up the monotony of the day and keep your team connected.

Staying engaged when working from home

You could even organize special online game nights with a remote game of bingo or Pictionary, or a talent show where people can showcase their hidden skills over a video call.

Engage with the community

Engagement with your team can be taken a step further by encouraging them to engage with the rest of the software community, too. Spread the word about a good upcoming webinar or online meetup, help your coworkers find learning opportunities, and support their attendance at online events. Read More–>>

Check out the full article at https://blog.gurock.com/engage-team-work-home/ and do share your thoughts!

<Image Credits — https://indianexpress.com/ and https://www.firstpagedigital.sg/ >

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