These last few weeks have brought many changes to both our personal and professional lives – we’re now all at home, staring at our screens, interacting almost exclusively with our own quaran-teams. It’s definitely daunting. Once your living room becomes your office, managing a workload can seem impossible. We’ve put together our top five tips to navigate work —virtually!
1. Set clear expectations and over-communicate. We do a daily huddle with each other, Brady Bunch style now. We communicate openly about our next 24 hours – priority tasks, challenges, and feedback from clients and the team. This helps us keep our lines of communication open with each other, find perspective when things get lost in translation (isolation?), and also just a time to build some routine into each of our days. This sets us up for success and can help to manage expectations about what we need from each other. During these times, there’s no such thing as over-communicating with our team and clients. We have discussions about which channels will be used to communicate about what, how deliverables will be submitted, and how staff and client meetings will be conducted. Ensuring your team and clients feel comfortable enough to share questions and concerns can help mitigate any worry at these uncertain times.
Mental health is also a big concern right now. We try to check in with each other and provide a place to share how they are feeling, both emotionally and physically. We’re also started to do a mental health moment each day to remind ourselves to check in with ourselves. The health of our team is imperative to the success of our company, so if our co-workers feel depressed or anxious, we want them to be able to communicate their needs to us. We are all in this together!
2. Ensure your staff are equipped to work remotely. It’s easy to assume that everyone has access to a computer and internet connection, but that may not always be the case. The first couple of weeks of this isolation was spent making sure everyone utilizes the tools below to ensure productivity while moving over to working remotely:
- Does everyone have access to a computer with microphone and video, a good internet connection, and access to a phone? If someone is not fully equipped, make sure to work together to find a solution, whether that means taking home a work computer or the employer helping purchase necessities.
- Do all your staff have access to the files and data they will need to work effectively at home? If your business is server-based, it may be a good idea to switch over to a cloud-based business management software – that’s what we do. This is a good option to ensure your team has secure access to their files and data and seamless transition no matter where we are.
- How will you keep in contact with one another? Utilizing business communication software like Slack can help make connecting with each other easier and faster, as well as being more secure than email or text.
- Use video conferencing software like Skype or Zoom to keep up with team and client meetings.
- How will you stay organized? We use an online project management software that keeps everyone accountable, transparent, and information accessible to everyone in real time.
3. Don’t forget to check in on your clients. We have had many questions from clients worrying about how to continue business going forward with their lease negotiations and employee layoffs. To mitigate any worry, we have been sending out informational news blasts with any updates we get. We want you to know what we know! We are also fielding all calls and emails as usual so our clients don’t experience a gap in service. Please know that even if there are delays in responses, we are working our hardest to deliver you our best. Even during these extraordinary circumstances, we are here for you.
4. Support local businesses and the community. Many businesses have been hit hard in the past several weeks; local entrepreneurs even more so. We’ve been creatively and strategically trying to find win-win-win situations for our community and local businesses. We even celebrated Canada’s first national #TakeoutDay on Wednesday April 15 with a company-paid virtual lunch catered by a local business. We challenge you to #EatLocal every Wednesday!
We’ve have also taken this time to extend our Estate Planning promotion: All Estate Planning services are 30% off if you book with us by the end of April. An additional 10% off is given to those working the frontlines of the C-19 crisis. Contact us for more details.
- Calm and considerate. Finally, we’re trying to be the calm and considerate voice in uncertainty, chaos, and anxiety. We’re starting on the inside with daily mindfulness blasts from the Calm app calendar and reminding ourselves to check in, especially in these desperate times. We are doing our best to be understanding of the frustration and fear faced by our clients and our community. Everyone has a personal story. It’s important for us to know that we don’t know the whole story all the time. When we’re brought into the inner circle, we’re there with them.
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