As we continue to navigate the ‘work from home’ sphere, one that might be new for many of us, we must maintain clear communication with other members of our team. Although it may feel impersonal to communicate through a screen, the technology at our fingertips and the resources it provides allows us to communicate intuitively and efficiently, avoiding any misunderstandings that arise when we cannot meet in person.
Open communication: As is often the problem with technologically-mediated communication, the meaning of something can be lost or misconstrued. Therefore, open communication is now more important than ever. This can mean anything from being clear about expectations for a certain project to outlining deadlines and expressing obstacles that crop up along the way. Knowing what your team needs from you, and being honest about your ability to fulfill that need allows for more effective collaboration. Collaboration tools such as Trello, Jira, or Basecamp come in handy to review progress and set expectations.
Keep in touch with team members: There are many efficient ways to keep your team accountable when managing a WFH group. For example, programs like Slack or Monday.com help communicate with teams at-large, manage tasks, and organize multiple projects occurring at once. Slack, for example, allows you to communicate with single members of your team or specific groups of people working on certain tasks. It also allows you to create ‘channels’ for certain projects, where different members can post documents, raise questions, or provide updates. When possible, hop on a quick Zoom video call to connect, or use Loom to record an explainer video.
Time management: Managing one’s time while working from home can be increasingly challenging when it feels like work-life and home-life are merging into one without clearly defined boundaries. However, it is important to set priorities for oneself to manage tasks efficiently. To set priorities, it is crucial to understand the bigger picture or the larger goal your team has. This is yet another reason why clear communication is so important. By understanding what it is your team is trying to achieve, you can prioritize your tasks to efficiently contribute to that end goal.
Self-motivation: As many of us have adapted to the WFH lifestyle, there has been some concern about keeping motivated and on task when working from home. Setting clear expectations and a work-life-home-life separation is imperative for holding ourselves accountable for the work that must be completed. This begins with overcoming procrastination.
Home-life places obstacles in the way of productivity–children, pets, making dinner, laundry, cleaning random cabinets– allowing procrastination to be a constant temptation. One way to stop procrastinating is to simply remove distractions. For example, if your phone distracts you, turn it off and place it in a random drawer in your house, thereby requiring a greater amount of energy to reach it, making it less of a distraction. You can also mitigate the procrastination temptation by using reward-based motivation. For example, tell yourself that after you finish your project you will be able to use your phone again. Giving yourself a reward after each task you complete will foster greater motivation to do so.
We are all in this together and knowing how to function within our “new normal” will allow us to continue progressing forward even when our world has been put on pause.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the 566th issue of our a.blog