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Since the beginning of the pandemic, everyone has worked remotely, even Sub-governance in Free TON. Initially, the team had some difficulties, but they managed to solve them. What difficulties Sub-governance faced in Free, what communication platforms did the team like and what the participants did to improve their work efficiency, read in the blog.
Almost a year has passed since the start of the pandemic. For some, it turned out to be very successful, but for others it was a failure. It is not a surprise that almost all companies had difficulties in the transition to a remote work format. Those companies that did not manage to adapt to remote work in time suffered losses or left the market. As employees adjusted to the new situation, managers were struggling with adapting. Sub-governance in Free TON also experienced some difficulties. The sudden pandemic demonstrated that, no matter what the situation in the world is, teams need to be cohesive, even when their members work in different parts of a city, country or world. At the time when team members worry about their families and income, leaders work to build team cohesion. This is the unspoken law that determines the success of most teams. This is what Sub-governance at Free TON did during the pandemic to keep the productivity of the team at the same level and even increase.
Almost immediately after the start of the pandemic, millions of people changed their normal work environment. Some of them were sent on unpaid leave and were forced to apply for unemployment benefits. Even those saved their work place and continue working were concerned about their safety and productivity at home. As conferences and airline tickets had to be canceled, company executives allocated a budget to support their employees. To support their teams, leaders of teams and huge companies gave small gifts to each employee to make everything seem “normal”. Several founders and CEOs have created and maintained daily blogs to keep employees constantly updated on company changes and management decisions. Others let employees take whatever they needed from the office, delivered lunches to remote employees, and even paid for air conditioning for team members who didn’t have them at home. Of course, we are talking about profitable companies that had funds for this. Sub-governance in Free TON from the very first days of remote work created the understanding that “remote work” is cool, and it should be so. Sub-governance held a call on Zoom, where all participants discussed their fears regarding remote work and the pandemic, new experiences and plans for the upcoming month. This allowed the team to remain in the same “success” level, even despite adapting to new conditions of work and life.
One of the most common challenges workers face in a pandemic is sharing their “work place” with spouses, roommates, or children. For many, this is a huge stress that negatively affects performance. It is generally recommended that managers agree with their employees on certain things, such as having a suitable work environment and free hours. Not everyone may have a quiet, non-distracting workplace, but in a pandemic, when all offices are closed, there is no other way out. However, clear expectations can be set in terms of response time to incoming messages and basic business hours. The importance of trusting employees is often overlooked by inexperienced managers. Trust is fundamental to successfully managing a remote team. In a remote work environment. In remote work it is worth moving to assessing employee performance based on results, rather than based on time spent. Remote managers benefit from less focus on how and when the work was done. Instead, they pay attention to whether the work was of the expected quality and was completed on time. Sub-governance at Free TON immediately discussed the expectations of remote work. The team members discussed the deadlines for routine tasks, the period of time when you cannot be offline or absent from work. All issues were carefully coordinated, which allowed team members to work in a convenient environment. This removed some of the uncertainty burden on staff.
For many, Zoom calls have become a huge source of stress. For many, communication via video calls was as inconvenient as possible, which affected the productivity of individual team members, for example, during strategic sessions. Some companies have focused on communicating via messengers and have gained an advantage. At the very beginning of the pandemic, while people adapted, this reduced the number of burnouts. When you just need to fill out a survey, it is enough to do it via a messenger or email. As practice shows, you do not need to do video meetings to conduct a survey there – this is unnecessary stress for employees and a waste of time. Video meetings are needed for more important tasks, such as creative brainstorming or strategic planning. First of all, it is necessary to decide what circumstances require a video meeting. Sub-governance in Free TON immediately determined that group video calls are planned a week in advance on predetermined issues or questions. There were no emergency video meetings during the pandemic, only in emergency cases. This allowed the team to focus on their responsibilities, stay productive and stress less.
The sudden shift to remote work has erased the line between work and personal life for many employees at different companies. As a result, some employees overworked and burned out very quickly, while others began to work less, which negatively affected productivity. Team members need a clear understanding of their areas of responsibility to work effectively together. For example, can a person go out for a walk during working hours? If an employee is sick, does he need to work until he is healthy? When a person is having dinner, should he/she set “Do Not Disturb” status in Slack? There are a lot of similar questions. When working remotely, the boundaries between work and personal life are important. It is necessary to make it clear to employees what is good and what is bad. Perhaps, at remote work, there is no point in hourly payment it is better to transfer them to payment after result. A little later, after the start of remote work, members of Sub-governance in Free TON faced the problem of separating personal life and work. Most of them worked more than 8 hours a day, which negatively impacted efficiency after a few weeks. Immediately after this problem was discovered, video meetings were held to discuss working hours and important issues. This had a positive effect on the productivity of the team over the next couple of months.
Having an informal atmosphere in a team is a small guarantee of productivity. Employees need live communication, jokes, emotions. Before the pandemic, kitchens in offices were designed for this, where people in an informal setting communicated and shared their experiences. In fact, the kitchen in the office is a space where they talk about everything from movies to politics and a new restaurant in the city. With the transition to a remote format caused difficulties with this. These conversations may seem like a waste of time, but don’t underestimate their role in the effectiveness of teamwork. They are capable of increasing the productivity of both individual team members and the team as a whole by 10-15%. Employees feel more confident with each other after communicating in an informal setting. Sub-governance at Free TON has created a chat for informal communication in Slack. General issues were discussed in chat, for example, which movie to watch or which restaurant to go to. Not a single working moment is discussed there. Active communication begins towards the end of the working day, which allows team members to relax and tune in for a relaxing evening.
At a time when employees were adapting to the new realities of work and life, it was important to have constant feedback from them. Before the pandemic, feedback was received in the office. When everyone switched to a remote work format, it became easier to receive feedback, but everyone forgot about it. It is necessary to provide the team with the opportunity to receive and give feedback on a continuous basis. This allows you to detect any shortcomings in the work in advance and correct them before negative consequences. It also allows each employee to blow off some steam or get feedback on their work to some extent. Sub-governance in Free TON immediately determined that feedback is an important component of team development. Sub-governance required each team member to give weekly feedback on their work activities. All problems identified through feedback from team members were resolved, which allowed maintaining a high level of productivity in the team for a long time.
Choosing the right messengers and communication platforms is the key to effective and fast communication. All messengers have their own advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the characteristics of companies, the range of suitable programs changes, so the choice of messengers and video conferencing platforms is a personal matter for each company or team. For example, companies often use Microsoft Teams when multiple employees or departments participate in a video conference. But the reality is that communication looks different in every company. Understanding the various communication tools at your disposal and how best to use them is essential when working remotely. Many companies test them before deciding on certain apps and platforms. For example, Sub-governance at Free TON tested two brainstorming platforms – Zoom and Google Hangouts. The team also tested Slack and Telegram for everyday work communication. After a certain trial period, feedback from all team members was collected and joint decisions were made with which platforms they should continue working. This approach allowed the entire Sub-governance team to choose platforms for communication.
Team support should be a top priority during a pandemic and remote work, even if the team hasn’t moved to a remote format and is working in the office. Employees need to know that their hard work will not go unnoticed. Sub-governance in Free TON, as well as a huge number of other companies, faced some problems when switching to a remote work format. Nevertheless, a team of specialists professionally dealing with them, which allowed us to maintain a high level of productivity. To say that COVID-19 has changed the way we think about work and life is an understatement. And until the pandemic is over, remote work will be the trend. Maybe even after the pandemic, it will remain a trend.
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