Working from Home During This COVID-19 Lockdown
Posted 25 Mar, 2020
Author - Olajumoke Adebisi
Working from Home During This COVID-19 Lockdown

Working from home is now a requirement for many, how to stay connected with your colleagues remotely while working from home. Companies transitioning to working remotely can maintain team cohesion and fulfil social needs through virtual activities and communication
As the coronavirus continues to spread, companies are feeling the pressure to work from home in order to stay safe. For those who work virtually as a regular practice, this disruption may only be minor.
However, many small businesses are not as prepared or experienced when it comes to working from home. In fact, only few people are set up in a way that allows them to work from home. Thus, many may be experiencing more severe disruption.
Here are some suggestions to maintain team cohesion and fulfil the social needs of your teams while we transition to work from home:
Create new team rituals
Just like you have regular daily habits with your team in the office, you’ll now have to create new routines and rituals that work virtually. Here are a few suggestions.
Weekly virtual coffee
Consider setting a regularly scheduled time for your team each week to catch up over coffee in a group video conference. This time can be separate from your regular team meetings, and you can simply chat over a coffee and talk about what’s happening in your life as you would in the office.
Virtual lunch
If you’re missing the socialization over lunch, consider setting up lunch dates over video chat with people on your team. You could also mention in your virtual company forums, that you’re interested in having lunch over video chat with people as if you were in your company cafeteria.
Team activities
Activities don’t need to be anything big. They can be as simple as everyone reading the same article and sharing their thoughts, attending a webinar, starting a book club, or participating in a weekly meditation as a group.
While working remotely, it’s important to over-communicate whenever possible. This can mean repeating your messages several times, or reposting content and announcements on several channels and platforms to make sure they reach everyone. Here are a few ideas to implement within your teams.
Morning status updates
If your team is not used to working virtually, it might be helpful to run daily/weekly morning updates over video conferencing (example zoom, skype) to help keep people on track and communicate important information to your team. These meetings keep people in touch, connected and serve as a way to share wins/losses from the previous day.
Frequent check-ins
Check in with your employees as often as possible and share any updates and changes in the business. Also, make sure to follow up on any announcements.
If you’re a manager, check in on employees at the start of each day. Something as simple as “Good morning! How are things going today? What can I help you with?” is a great place to start. Personal contact is important at this time and should be explicitly practiced keeping people feeling in the loop.
Personal schedules and boundaries
It’s important to be explicit about when your day starts and ends in order to set the precedence around work boundaries. Remember, just because you’re working from home does not mean people can access you around the clock. The regular workday still applies, so colleagues should respect when you end your day virtually and log off the same way as when you leave the office.
Stay connected
All these suggestions will be contingent on having the right technology and tools in place to support your workforce. This means investing in collaborative file-sharing tools, video conferencing tools, and instant messaging. This should be the very first step as we transition into this new state of work and weather this storm.
Don’t let social distancing let you feel disconnected at work. Get creative with how you stay in touch and make it fun. While loneliness can be a problem for people who work remotely, making it a priority to schedule virtual events with your team can go a long way. Also create instant messaging group.
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