Communication in the team in times of physical distancing

The crisis has completely turned all of our (work) lives upside down. Even in industries where regular home office was previously unthinkable, the office has now found its way into your own four walls. Many employees, who are now more flexible and can structure their working day individually, are happy about this. Pick up the child from school or take the dog out in between? No problem in the home office! On the other hand, personal contact with colleagues and interpersonal relationships quickly fall by the wayside. How can team communication still succeed in times of social distancing? Read for yourself!

Physical instead of social distancing: 3 tips for teamwork in the home office

In addition to the many advantages, there are also some challenges to cope with, especially for newcomers to the home office. A study by the DAK, for example, shows that 75 percent of those surveyed lack direct contact with their colleagues. 47 percent find it increasingly difficult to clearly separate work and private life. That’s why we have a few tips for you below that will help you master the challenge of long-term home office and teamwork!

1. Calling instead of writing: The team communication

In the home office, most of us have many different communication options available. The choice of the tool is very important when discussing things with the team. Before tasks are explained in full by e-mail or in the chat, a quick call not only saves time, but also creates closeness. There is also space for a little chat away from to-do’s and deadlines – almost like in the office! Video calls are particularly suitable for team meetings, in order to experience colleagues live and in color. With facial expressions and gestures, misunderstandings can be avoided and cohesion strengthened. You should take a few minutes every day for this!

2. The three big Ts: transparency, transparency, transparency

Of course, the last few months have been a completely new experience for many. And there is still a lot to learn. If the crisis has already shown one thing, it is that transparency in the company can counteract many uncertainties and help employees to find their way around the new situation. Even supposed little things, such as communicating daily / weekly to-do’s, have a positive effect on teamwork. So everyone has the feeling that they are still participating in the workday of their colleagues, and capacities can also be clarified. Regular video meetings and feedback discussions are of course the be-all and end-all. This is where employees can get rid of their worries and managers have space to inform them about the latest developments. If everyone pulls together, then social will just become physical distancing.

3. Creating routines and structures: Self-organization

Self-organization is also a basis for successful teamwork. It is true that many find it difficult to establish fixed structures in the home office and to separate private from working life. Doing laundry quickly between meetings or sitting at a desk after work, absorbed in a text – after all, that should sound familiar to most.

Routines can help immensely in drawing important boundaries and structuring the working day. Fixed times for starting work, breaks and after work are a great help here. If necessary, a timer or the reminder function on the mobile phone can help so that the view does not just stick to the computer. Very important for the break (s): really treat yourself to a break! If necessary, leave the room or apartment and switch off properly. In order to simulate the commute to work, a walk around the block is also useful: there is fresh air and the circulation gets going! This not only helps you, your colleagues always know exactly when you can be reached. Anyone who is also rested and fresh at work will be of great support to their team from home!

Conclusion: Find your own way

In the end, of course, there are no generally applicable rules for successful and relaxed teamwork from home. Everyone has to make their own experiences here. But if you follow a few tips and tricks, you will save yourself a lot of frustration and anger. Everyone should at least agree on one thing: for productivity, breaks and exchanges with colleagues are just as important as a clear structure and organization. Therefore: Get on the phone, zoom in or skype, regularly get some fresh air and finally leave your workday behind. Tomorrow is another day, I promise!