“Make virtual work your real work,” says Laura O’Neal, a coaching and training specialist at TrainerTainment. Company CEO Beth Standlee shared some of O’Neal’s tips for staying connected and communicating with your team while many in the industry (and across the country) are working from home.
The TrainerTainment folks are a bit more experienced than most in that department. “Here’s the thing about TrainerTainment: we are a team.” O’Neal wrote. “Everyone lives and works from their home in a different state or city. We have been a virtual team for almost 15 years.”
1. Turn on your camera. There are things you get working in an office that you don’t get from home – a quick “Hi!” walking by a desk, catch up chats and more, she said. “You must intentionally create interaction when you are in a virtual workplace setting.”
2. Have face-to-face meetings and check-ins at least once a week. O’Neal suggests hopping on Zoom or other virtual meeting software not just for meetings, but even for lunches and happy hours.
3. Set clear expectations. “Make sure you are very clear about what work you are doing. If the boss hasn’t made it clear, then you take the step and ask. Don’t forget about priorities. You may need extra information and/or tools to get work done.”
4. “Cut ’em some slack.” “Working from home sometimes means wearing all of your hats at the same time,” she wrote. There can be an adjustment period for those not used to the new way of doing things, so, when in doubt, pick up the phone!