12 Tips to Master Office to Home Productivity and Profitability
by Terri Murphy
After a few weeks of working from home, have you noticed that you feel alone and disconnected from the world as you knew it? Gone is the physical energy of people coming and going, and face-to-face interactions have been replaced by an endless Zoom screen.
We’re faced with how to stay motivated and connected while we transition in and out of the possibility of returning to “normal.” When we can’t meet in person, the rich world of virtual connection is the second-best way to stay connected, visible, vibrant, and productive.
Want to take this sequester thing and kick it up a notch? Here are a few tips to ROCK your work no matter where your office might be.
- For virtual meetings, determine communication preferences in advance for your team, clients, or customers. Virtual connection is more experiential than just audio, so encourage the participants to be on their webcam when using platforms like Zoom.us, GoToMeeting, or Google Hangouts. Since we are unable to share physical space, we can at least use visual engagement to keep us connected.
- Master Zoom platform engagement like breaking into rooms, whiteboard use and PowerPoint to encourage engagement and interest.
- Identify and schedule a regular day and time that works for everyone. Be mindful of families with school-aged children, so parents aren’t stressed. If you choose Monday morning meetings, then stick to it.
- Showtime! For Virtual meetings, dress the part, practice looking into the camera to avoid looking in the screen. Breaking the “eye” contact contributes to disconnection and loss of attention.
- Virtual backgrounds can be nice, but often distracting. Be sure you have a quiet and benign background. Avoid sharing private areas like bedrooms when conducting a meeting. Use a backdrop, screen, or a blank wall for a more appropriate setting.
- Huddle often: If you are in management or a team leader, schedule daily short huddles with your team. The huddle is designed to be brief and provide your team with updates on various projects, discuss issues, challenges, etc. Establish with the team that a huddle is NOT a full-blown meeting, but a 15-minute short connection activity to touch base, address concerns, and to keep your team motivated.
- Consider using an instant messaging platform like SLACK to cut down all the tedious back-and-forth emails to efficiently respond to quick questions.
- During huddles and regular meetings, open on a positive note to spotlight and celebrate team member wins. Now more than ever, your team needs the validation that they are appreciated and recognized!
- Use a communication and project management platform like Monday.com, Basecamp, or Trello to provide a monitoring and hub central for contributions that can help streamline activities.
- For weekly meetings, change it up a notch and consider providing a curbside delivery lunch to each member. Sharing lunch includes a fun and more social element to meetings.
- Kick up the connection with clients and customers by substituting video email to replace tired emails. Check out platforms like QuickPage.io or BombBomb.com for a more refreshing and experiential connection. Some of the platforms allow you to attach documents, videos, links, etc., and immediate notification when the video is viewed.
- Don’t abandon networking just because you can’t get out there. In her book, "Building your Dream Network",(https://amzn.to/3eX2iKV ) author and networking expert, J. Kelly Hoey shares that LinkedIn is a great prospecting and networking tool. Use this platform to make vital connections while many are working from home and are more online than ever before.
It's a great time to stand out and mastering connection will make you a Rockstar!