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The Digital Depot

How to WFH and keep your team sane

Working from home (WFH, not to be confused with ‘working from hell’) can be tough for many people. Unfortunately, that’s the situation many companies find themselves in these days.

With COVID-19 there is nothing else to do but wash your hands, stay indoors as much as possible and try not to be distracted by the new Animal Crossing.

But how can you keep yourself and your team sane when your working from home?

Here we give you our tips and tricks for keeping your marketing team motivated and engaged.

Communication is key

Keeping in contact with your team is something we all need when your working from home. It can be nice to have a bit of space, but it can also get pretty lonely when you’re stuck and you have to work from home.

Email, of course, is the go-to mode of communication but is more suitable for formal questions. It also doesn’t lend itself well to a general group conversation – how many of us have tried to decipher a particularly long email thread or two?

What you want is the virtual equivalent of being able to lean over to your co-worker and saying, “What do you think about this?”

Meet Slack.

 

Slack

 

Slack is one of the most popular chat platforms for modern marketing teams. It’s easy to use and suitable for both one-on-one conversations and group discussions. You can organise your chat channels and groups around particular topics and groups.

Don’t just limit yourself to “Marketing” and “Design” groups. For example, we have a “Friday Playlist” and each Friday everyone picks a song to lift up the mood after a long week. Or make a “Watercooler” chat where you can talk about daily life, your lunch, news, whatever you fancy.

Try a video meeting (Give advanced warning!)

Someone’s tone of voice can tell you a lot about how they’re doing. It can be very easy to misread tone in text, something you might easily pick up from facial expressions and body language.

Now we know not everyone likes being on camera but even an occasional video meeting can be great to help people connect better.

You might need to give advance warning though as during the lockdown period it’s easy to skip showering or brushing your hair.

Organise your team

Organising your team is not something unique to these quarantine times when everyone is working from home, but it’s important to make sure that everyone is on the same page with all projects and changes.

Using a workflow tool like Asana helps you keep tabs on all projects. This is, in our opinion, the best way to make sure your projects flow easily.

 

Organisation

 

Much like Slack, it is extremely user friendly and can bend itself to your needs. You can view projects on a list, or a board, or a calendar, or a timeline, all with one click. You can easily check on their status, deadlines, and they can be seen by all members, too.

It also easily integrates with Google Docs amongst other programmes you may use.

Breaking the ice

Like we said, working remotely can be a lonely business. And when we got onto a group meeting call it can feel strange to ask anything more than “how was your weekend?” or comment on the weather.

Try beginning a meeting every now and again with an icebreaker. This can lift the mood and help everyone relax while they’re on a call.

Anyone can suggest a question and how innocuous we reveal a little about ourselves and gain familiarity with our co-workers.

  • “What’s your favourite place to order food from?”
  • “What’s the best, little-known, movie you’ve seen in the last five years?”
  • “What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?”

You could also go a step further and do one of these five icebreaker ACTIVITIES. That should get your team motivated and relaxed.

Long term success

There are undoubtedly many pitfalls to when you work from home. However, if you keep communication clear and troubleshoot organisational problems early, you’ll be fine.

With these tools, it’s easy to keep your team happy and content that they’re working from the same playbook. The results will speak for themselves.

Happy working!