At this point, many of us are working from home and, after over a month of doing so, we’re pretty established in our new normal, right? I’m not sure that means we have perfected it by any means, but we are starting to build a routine and hopefully, things are getting a little easier.
It’s one thing to establish those routines for yourself, figuring out how to carry out your own role and responsibilities in your specific job, but what about managing a team? Especially a team that isn’t used to working remotely.
So many details are decided in the office hallway or the ‘meeting after the meeting’ where everyone in the room keeps talking after the meeting ends. Discussions are continued, disagreements are ironed out and ultimately, decisions are made. But with meetings transformed into video calls, we’ve lost that in our transition to the new normal.
It’s important to keep a team connected when it’s so easy to drift apart and do your own thing. And for a creative team – a marketing team of writers, artists, photographers, and brainstormers — it’s vital.
Here are three things that I do to help keep my team connected.
Monitor where and how you are spending your time. Everyone in the organization is experiencing a shift in their role as well and might be spending time ‘brainstorming’ new ideas. This can lead to a lot more work for a creative team…more article ideas, more campaigns to create, but these are not always fully developed ideas. Ask yourself if you’re spending too much time following up on incomplete ideas. By tracking these requests and sharing with the team, managers can identify what projects might be coming our way and how to plan for them.
Meet regularly. I think this is a no brainer, but still a good reminder. We know how important communication and connection is right now, but we also want to be careful about setting too many meetings when there’s so much going on already. A thirty-minute team check-in is a great way to find out what’s going well and what challenges everyone is facing. If things come up, you can always set up another call to go into more detail. For a creative team, it might be even more important to bounce ideas off of each other on a regular basis.
Cut yourself and your team some slack. This is tough. There’s so much change right now and we have to accept that everyone’s going to handle it a bit differently. A team of people all have different personalities and work styles, but in an office setting, we tend to conform to the culture. Now, we are creating our own micro-cultures at home. As a manager, it’s important to recognize the unique challenges we all face and celebrate the wins. And you know what? Sometimes showering, wearing a button-up shirt and turning on your camera for today’s meeting is a win.