With social distancing and lock-down having becoming the “new normal”, and risk remaining so for an extended period, it is well worth spending some time on what you and your team can do to sustain productivity, energy and well-being, while under Covid-19 lock-down.
First, it is crucial to accept that it is a “new normal” and can be so for some time. As such, getting something done is always better than getting nothing done.
Therefore, anytime you consider postponing something due to a virtual meeting being less effective than a physical meeting, you should ask yourself how that helps you progress your corporate and professional agenda. Often, you will realize that it is in your and your company’s best interest to stick to the plan.
Secondly, view it as an acceleration of your digital workplace agenda and take the opportunity to experiment and have a little fun trying out novel ways of working. The worst thing that can happen is that you learn something.
Thirdly, effective remote working requires increased transparency, clarity, routines, trust and community. We recommend to set-up some simple practices for how you work and interact as digital teams. Below are a set of practices that we have implemented in Cognizant Consulting Nordics:
• All-team Instant Messaging channel for broadcasting
Clear organization & prioritization of work
• Daily stand-up every morning
• A senior is accountable to lead major tasks in-between stand-ups
• Prioritize: Delivery, Pursuits, Point of Views and Training
Disciplined meeting routines
• Prepare: Align, Agenda, Outcomes and Roles
• Perform: WebEx w. Video, Listen, Park, Actions and Decisions.
• Use digital tools to co-create content
• Post: Feedback, Share, Socialize, Follow-up and Evaluate
Digitize the virtual coffee corner community
• Daily social sharing challenges on all-team Instant Messaging channel
• 1-on-1 Instant Messaging chat to focus email on client interaction
Fourthly, make sure you individually prepare your digital workplace so that it enables you to be efficient, focused and energized.
Set-up an efficient workspace
• Separate your workspace from your private space to avoid being 24/7 “at the office”
• Consider ergonomics of your workspace and keep a clean desk policy
Stay focused using personal targets
• Use a task application to set daily tasks and weekly objectives, and track progress
• Turn off phone notifications or use an app like Focus - Be Productive!
Stay energized by activating yourself
• Take 5-10 min break every hour to do Stretch/Yoga/Move
• Aim for 45 min. cardiovascular training/day as it will help if you catch the virus
Finally, do experiment beyond these basic recommendations and share your learning with your peers and colleagues to ensure that we collectively improve our digitally enabled remote way of working.