Our top tips for staying connected with your team during remote working
At PPL, we are very proud of our operations team. They have already implemented some great new ideas for keeping us connected online. We haven’t got it perfect yet, but we want to share our ideas with you now just in case they can help you foster community and togetherness within your organisation until we can all meet again in person.
1. Keep existing opportunities to connect with colleagues in the calendar as far as possible
PPL will be using Zoom to deliver our internal calendar of training events, and to continue with our monthly Family lunches. For our next team drinks, we’ll also be doing a virtual quiz night, which will be a logistical challenge but well worth it as we’re all highly competitive quizzers!
2. Create spaces for people to have a laugh with each other
Our PPL Teams site is sporting some new channels, including one called ‘Timewasting’, which are dedicated spaces for chat rather than work. We'll also be running a PPL “Would I lie to you?” on a weekly basis, to add an extra smile into everyone’s week.
3. Support good netiquette and online meeting practices
We have already developed a PPL Netiquette guide and are currently developing a remote meeting guide as well. Now that our office activities are migrating online, we feel it’s important that the expectations around online working are as clear as expectations in the office would be.
4. Prompt points of connection throughout the day
We currently have two recurring daily invites to dial in to chat with colleagues – a virtual coffee break at 11am and a virtual lock up at 5:30pm. These are optional, of course, but having something in the diary will hopefully encourage colleagues to feel like they can prioritise connecting with colleagues during busy days. We also have an automatic spreadsheet that randomly pairs up everyone with a coffee / catch up buddy each day.
5. Make use of your team’s unique skills and personalities
If anyone has something to bring to the table to entertain colleagues or help keep them sane, encourage them to do so. We’ve really been enjoying the Pilates videos from our Senior Consultant / Pilates teacher Laura Porro!
6. Keep official communications with the whole team regular
Our weekly team newsletter is now supplemented with a daily Purple Flash update on Teams with anything pressing that has changed today.
7. Make time to review what’s going well and what isn’t going so well about remote working
We’ll be doing this through a virtual meeting held monthly with our HR manager.
8. Encourage colleagues to share their tips for home working
We now have specific channels on Teams to encourage people to share any tips for home workouts, any great recipes they’ve found, pictures of their pets and so on.
9. Support colleagues’ mental health as far as possible
All of the above will hopefully help our team to feel connected and supported during these unusual times. At PPL we also have three mental health first aiders, who join every lock up conversation and are available to talk to as needed.
Let us know on twitter @PPLthinks if you’ve found any of these useful or if you have any great ideas for us from your organisation. We’d love to hear what others are doing!