WFH Tips for Staying Connected in With Colleagues

When shelter-in-place orders came in March, work didn’t stop— the workforce just adjusted. For Corporate America, #WFH gave way to dress shirts on top paired with sweats on the bottom, “COVID hair” and a massive spike in video conferencing. Many professionals are feeling disoriented and disconnected from their colleagues in this climate.

I have worked remotely with SnappConner PR for over a year, so the current working arrangements are customary for me. I have learned that there are simple, yet effective ways to stay connected with my work team and maintain the synergy and collaboration we have in-person. Here are four tips to make sure remote colleagues still feel connected to each other and the organization:

  1. Maintain existing organization structure

Working from home has not changed a single meeting or brainstorming session for our agency. Like many professionals, video conferencing allows us to gather and see each team member. Our team hosts a bi-weekly staff meeting where we present ideas, discuss clients, best practices and office items using the screen share functionality to display decks and documents.

  1. Frequent check-ins

When developing a culture of trust, transparency and communication, it’s essential for management to continuously check-in and ask employees how things are going. Every two weeks, our agency has standing, one-on-one internal meetings with management scheduled on our calendars. Some weeks we agree to pass on the meeting if there is nothing to discuss, and other weeks we chat at length about our career goals and overall well-being. Employee feedback not only informs decisions across the agency, but it plays a fundamental role in improving employee engagement, especially as we work from home.

For a large agency, it may be most efficient to send out an employee survey and follow up with those in need.

  1. Implement employee recognition and spotlights

For the last few years, during our staff meeting, our agency has given spot bonuses to those who go above and beyond. This boosts morale and gives employees visibility when it comes to their work success. Employee recognition is especially important in remote work—demonstrating that great work is still recognized even if it’s taking place off-site.

  1. Strengthen company culture

Agencies can find creative ways to reinforce team building even if we can’t congregate to do so. A few Fridays ago, our agency gathered via Zoom at the end of a workday while one of our colleagues shared how she makes bread with her own sourdough starter. It was an entertaining and educational way for the team to touch base and learn something new.

Let’s aspire to take the good things we’ve learned and habits we’ve formed during this time and keep them in mind when it’s time to return to the office. The sharing of thoughts, ideas and strategies are more crucial now than ever. This is a unique opportunity to support and learn from each other.