The low-stress guide to working from home
01 /Staying connected with your team
For many people, their co-workers and working in an office environment can be their main point of human interaction every day, so now that COVID-19 have disrupted daily life by sending millions to work remotely from home, we are having to come up with different and innovative ways to keep in contact with our teams.
It's important to check in on everyone at these uncertain times and dedicate time to allow co-workers to share, discuss and provide support during the workday. We have found some of the best online tools to use to stay connected and engaged with your co-workers whilst we are all social-distancing;
This collaboration hub brings people together by creating a channel for every conversation. This saves people getting left out of conversations and information getting lost, it can be difficult not being able to have face-to-face discussions with everyone, but Slack gives you the ability to do this virtually in a channel.
- Slack acts as a good replacement for emails that are more conversational in tone, cutting down on unnecessary emails to wade through in your inbox.
- You can also share documents, images and links through it too, making it easy to group discussions within channels.
- You can audio call through it, but not video call.
Microsoft Teams is another tool that can help with frequent check-ins and discussions, it's about what works best within your team, if you all work with Office 365, this is integrated with Microsoft Teams making it easier to share applications you use every day.
Microsoft Teams isn’t as user friendly as Slack and can get a bit clunky to use when there’s a lot going on, however as mentioned above, if you mainly use Office 365 for your day to day work, then this can be a really good option.
However, if you’re more used to using Google Docs, Google Calendar and everything else that begins with the G word, then Google Hangouts Meet is going to be the best thing for you to use with your colleagues.
Hangouts allows you to voice call or video call your colleagues - perfect for meetings or a general catch up. Seeing people’s faces adds a sense of personability to the call and offers those who may be working from home on their own some virtual human interaction.
You can use Meet easily with Google Calendar. Just create a new event, then click ‘Add Conferencing.’ Google will generate a unique URL that is shared with anyone who is invited to the event you’ve created. Simply click on the link and you’re in a video chat room with everyone else who’s clicked on that link.
Zoom has similar features to Google Hangouts and is also a video calling tool. Have the ability to connect with your team whether they are on mobile or desktop, this is a simple and effective solution to discuss ideas quickly instead of sending multiple emails back and forth.
Zoom’s quickly become the web conferencing tool that everyone is using. You need to download the Zoom app either on desktop or mobile to join a conference. Zoom is a bit more complicated to set up than Google Hangouts, but offers more functionality.
Try and keep your routine as close to how you would work in the office as possible, if you would have a coffee in the morning with co-workers to discuss what you are working on that day, do it over video call. Or have a virtual lunch with your team, if it lasts 5 minutes or 20 minutes having that face-to-face interaction is so important during this time.