Companies talk a lot these days about staying connected — and with good reason. Between remote working amid COVID-19, team members opting for summer getaways and periodic sick days and appointments that always enter the mix, it’s an uphill battle to continue business as usual at a time that is anything but. Here are a few tips to help keep business moving forward, and your team headed in the right direction.
Plan Schedules Well in Advance
Such business advice might seem obvious, but planning is easier said than done. This is especially true in larger offices. Require team members to provide adequate notice before requesting time off, and to ensure others in their department will be present and available to help in their absence. Likewise, if team members opt to work from home, ensure the right people have been notified. A shared calendar and set approval process can help. For team members who might be asked to assist — especially those unfamiliar with specific clients or tasks — set up a brief meeting to keep all parties fully informed.
Keep the Conversation Flowing
Healthy communication is crucial when it comes to keeping team members in the loop and working cohesively. Consider incorporating internal monthly newsletters into the mix where you can provide reminders and updates to the full team — all at once. Many companies also ask team members to check emails periodically on weekends or while out of the office (while still acknowledging and allowing for their need for well-deserved breaks). These check-ins go a long way toward ensuring nothing important falls through the cracks. Of course, regular huddles among specific department groups are a great way to keep ideas moving, important news known and team members connected.
Make Your Office Mobile
Although it isn’t easy to quickly transition to a full-fledged work-from home model, there are simple ways to help team members tackle work outside the office. Establish a drive for access to necessary folders and files for instance. Or, set up a system which allows team members to submit their work via email. On that note, ensure everyone knows how to access emails through mobile devices and/or home computers. Remember, although such access makes it easier to tackle projects, it can leave data at risk. Take measures to keep your important information safe. Finally, make office expectations known. Are team members expected to respond to texts, calls and email during normal working hours only? What about when they’re on vacation? (Such guidelines are great fodder for those internal newsletters.)
Staying connected during summer months and the ongoing pandemic isn’t rocket science, but it does take some added thought. If you have questions on any of the business advice here, or if you’re curious about whether your company could improve upon its policies, feel free to contact BCH. Our team is always happy to help!