The saying "teamwork makes the dream work" rings true for most businesses, even more so nowadays with the rise in remote operations. Tech giant Microsoft is allowing even more employees to work from home permanently in line with their announcement that offices aren't expected to open until 2021 at the earliest.
Of course, remote work isn't without its challenges. To help teams be as productive as they can be during these tough times, below are a few ways to foster resilience among remote workers.
Opening communication channels specifically for non-work chat
Water cooler chats are a fundamental part of office life, and the good thing is that you can replicate them online. If you're working on applications like Slack and Discord, you can work to set up a separate channel dedicated to non-work chat. Including all the team members in this channel allows everyone to get to know each other on a more personal level and inject a bit of camaraderie into an often lonely remote working environment.
Having mindful check-ins during meetings
You can't build resilience without addressing the elephant in the room. People are facing significant challenges because of this crisis, whether it be work, financial, or their personal life, and leaders should at least be aware of this. An article by Marcus on building resilience highlights the importance of connecting with others to stay mentally sane. Taking the time to have a quick deep breathing break can go a long way, and it's worth incorporating a few deep breaths either at the start or end of your next meeting. You can also go around and ask everyone to list a couple of things they're grateful for. This reinforces the mindset that your team members can rely on one another for support.
Organizing fun learning opportunities
Everyone is starting their own little hobbies during quarantine, so why not share the knowledge? Professional seminars are important, but sometimes it's just nice to learn about how to make your own fresh pasta or cold brew. Having team members introduce their hobbies to one another through these mini "seminars" can be an event that everyone looks forward to on a regular basis.
Offering flexible work schedules
Resilience isn't about continuing to work to the point of exhaustion: in fact, it's about recognizing your limits and only pushing past them when you feel like you're able to. To that end, our previous post on The Future of Work cites flexible work hours as a great way for remote employees to take ownership of their schedule and work when they're able to. Although some companies have core hours, you can ultimately decide how long this timeframe is. Flexible work hours are especially useful for remote teams that are working across different time zones.
Building a resilient corporate culture has been an important job for organizations for years now, but remote operations have become a significant hurdle to this. As such, leaders need to double down and make sure that they're looking out for the mental health of all the team members so that this "new normal" becomes as productive as possible.