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The past six months have forced all of us out of our comfort zones. At MMS careers evolve as whole teams are working remotely, juggling home schooling, pets, not having access to extended hours of retail shopping – the list goes on and on. In your space and as a team leader, how are you handling this? How are you keeping your staff morale up and ensuring your team is excited to be “at work”, albeit remote? Did you know that there are a handful of behaviours that you could be guilty of, that are hurting team morale?
How NOT to kill workplace culture
  1. Being off camera during meetings
    Showing that you are “in the game” at all times is important if you want your team to be equally engaged. Resist the urge to turn off your camera because the background in your home is “messy”. Be it your living room, your desk (or even your hair) – be professional at all times as you set the example. Plus, face time is extremely important to retain some form of connection with the team.
  2. Adopting a “hands-off” attitude
    One of the many advantages of operating from the office is the opportunities to connect with your team in unplanned ways. Chatting while making a cup of coffee, stopping by their office – all of these opportunities are removed once working from home. Make an effort to “drop in” via a one-to-one video call, start and end each day with a video call and when you enquire as to the welfare of individuals, mean it.
  3. Becoming impatient
    Working from home on day #1 of lockdown is novel for possibly the first few minutes, and then reality strikes. In as much as you have to deal with partners, husbands or wives sharing your workspace, home schooling, meal planning, shopping and the like, as do your team members and colleagues. Frustration is inevitable, but you need to find a way to resist the temptation to “lose it”. Try to focus on finding more agile ways to work, set very clear delivery expectations from the team and then accept that working towards those expectations could involve the team working different hours to fit everything into their day.
  4. Create opportunities for collaboration
    For some team members, they will thrive on working without the distractions of the office and will enjoy the isolation. Ensure that you find ways for team members to collaborate on projects so that you unlock the benefits of team brainstorming and sharing knowledge. Many minds are always better than one, and your project outcomes will be significantly enhanced if you are able to find ways to force collaboration.
  5. Show heart
    The pressure is on you as the team leader to cultivate and demonstrate empathy. Different members of the team will digest the remote working challenges differently and added to that, each has their own and very real fears of contracting the virus. Show that you acknowledge their concerns and are empathetic to their situation. If you are struggling with certain personal challenges, chances are that they are too – it won’t hurt to share with your team and ask for advice either, it builds rapport too.

Every aspect of remote working is tough – it depends only on the perspective of the person looking in as to how tough it is. At the MMS Group, the safety of our teams is vital to us and we continue to operate with this in mind, many of us working on a remote basis. If you are looking for your next employment opportunity and would like to join our team, visit our MMS Careers website.

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