Innovation and creativity are at the heart of contemporary business success. Thinking outside of the box is imperative for teams to stand out, outdo competitors, and stay at the cutting-edge of business.
Before 2020, office spaces were completely geared towards boosting team morale, deepening bonds, and making sure each member was comfortable. This encouraged everyone to work together harmoniously to generate the best possible results. More creativity means more productivity, more profitability, and more success.
Back then, the equation was clear. Giving teams the opportunity to step outside of the norm and shape their workflows according to their own needs was the way to build a creatively-minded company culture. Fun and incentives were worked in to keep morale up and teams thrived in the social, engaging, and collaborative professional environment.
But no one could foresee the coming disruptor that would turn this smooth system upside down. The pandemic pushed everyone out of the office, isolated team members, and all of that positive growth seemingly went back to zero.
Managing Teams During WFH
While the terrain is totally unfamiliar, it’s not impossible to navigate. Encouraging your team to be creative and productive can be accomplished in the teleworking model – it just can’t be done in the old-fashioned way of large groups huddled around a project base.
Here are some things that business owners and team leaders can do to keep teams creative even while apart:
Make Collaboration Easy
Make collaboration easy by providing team members with the tools they need. Providing winning tech is a power-move for the moment. During WFH, many team members may not have access to the same amenities they did in the office. It may be wise to invest in new technologies that will streamline the new workflow.
Laugh at the Little Things
Positive encouragement goes a long way. Just because we’re working from home doesn’t mean that all the great social norms need to be dropped. Instead, they should be applied to this new system.
Things are bound to go wrong right now. While we hope for the best, team leaders will benefit from taking a step back and adapting to the current situation. It’s fair to say a lot is going on right now.
While high expectations are appropriate, be ready to face the challenges with positivity – not punishment.
Since work has entered the home, maintaining boundaries is possibly more important than ever. Understand that you are still ‘the boss’, and it might not be a welcomed sign to your team if you’re flooding them with emails before sunrise or near midnight.
Not only is everyone on different schedules, but we’re all facing different situations. Be sure to respect business hours especially during WFH. This will help your team establish a new work-life balance because after all, teleworking doesn’t mean that your team is now on-the-clock 24/7.
E-etiquette is key when working with multigenerational teams. Try to fit your own flows into a team-wide approach by scheduling emails to send at appropriate times or making the effort to thoroughly explain yourself via email and text. Avoid being curt as it never hurts to throw in a ‘thanks!’, relevant emoji’s, GIFs, or a kind greeting.
Don’t micromanage or smother your teams – give them space to do their thing. A calm, stress-free team is a creative one. Upkeep the morale during WFH to be as successful as possible.