If you’ve had to drastically shift to a work-from-home setup during the pandemic, you’re far from alone. In fact, 8.4 million people in the UK, including 46.4% of London’s working population, have done so in the past year. And though employers were first concerned about possible dips in productivity, the opposite occurred: It actually increased by up to 77%. Brinley Jean takes a look.
Despite this, remote work has its own setbacks. For instance, the lack of interaction with colleagues can easily make employees feel isolated. Plus, since remote work means less direct communication, workspace collaboration can become more difficult.
Not to worry, though: even in the digital workspace, you can facilitate teamwork that works. Here are a few things you can try.
Make stronger connections
Communication is key, and so it’s no surprise that the success of any workspace collaboration will depend heavily on it. That’s why it’s important to actively encourage co-worker interaction on online platforms like Slack, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams.
Remote work doesn’t have to be boring, either. The aforementioned apps make it easy to create channels to play games and even share memes. Though it won’t exactly replicate the in-office experience, you can still foster a workspace that’s good to work in.
Set clear goals and boundaries
Part and parcel of good digital communication is setting clear goals and boundaries to work with. This involves communicating task assignments clearly and directly, and in amounts that are not overwhelming.
For this, simple to-do lists are your best friend. According to this work-from-home guide, to-do lists not only keep everyone on track, but also help avoid unfortunate incidents, such as showing up late to video calls, from happening. This works even better if paired with clearly-set boundaries, such as only communicating about work-related matters on weekdays.
It’s also important not to work more than eight hours a day, as overwork can increase your risk for health issues such as fatigue, heart attacks, and even musculoskeletal disorders. Ultimately, goals and boundaries can maintain or increase productivity while preventing costly mistakes and employee burnout down the line.
Develop those soft skills
This may seem low-priority, but developing your employees’ soft skills can go a long way. Such skills include the aptitude for leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, and conflict resolution, which are all essential to making workspace collaboration more effective.
In fact, even simple trust and empathy exercises can help your employees work better with each other. By establishing trust and encouraging the growth of a support system between co-workers, you can help boost employee morale.
Equip teams with the right tools
However, in the digital workspace, none of this will be possible without the right tools. Indeed, there are a wealth of collaboration tools that are geared to help your business with product management, time management, and progress-tracking per team member. Particularly, Casedo’s intuitive workspace is versatile enough for use in businesses ranging from legal practices to estate agents.
If your firm has a website, chances are you’ve been hounded to write something at some point. It can seem daunting and cuts into your billable hours. You’ll be astounded at what an article can do for your reputation and personal brand awareness. I personally find the act of writing down my thoughts quite cathartic. Once you have an idea, you’ll be surprised how quickly an article can come together. What should I write about? I hear you cry. How about your thoughts on a recent case? How have you found working at home? Are you a fan of digital hearings? How do you make your Zoom meetings pop?
BONUS: Implement round-the-clock operations
If the members of your remote team are spread across multiple time zones, you have a golden opportunity to implement round-the-clock operations. This way, work is always being done, even if some members of the team are finished working for the day or are unavailable due to an emergency. As this guide to managing sprawled remote teams explains, it may take a bit of strategising to get things running smoothly, but soon your business can reap the benefits of effective collaboration 24/7.
Why not read our ‘Should we tax people working from home?’ article on Legal Futures? Click HERE to read the full text.