In 2019 Covid-19 changed everything. How we live our lives, how we interact with each other, how our kids do schoolwork, how we travel and, of course, how we run our businesses. Initially this meant that most businesses either had to temporarily, or in some cases permanently, shut their doors, while others reshaped their structure to allow their employees to work from home.
However, in the months and years since the start of the pandemic, we are now seeing offices open back up. But things aren’t exactly like they were before, with most businesses now offering their workforce a “hybrid” working experience. That is, a system that merges both working in an office and working from home. A noticeable difference in how we work has been the level of isolation people have felt and this has lingered to some degree. Many in the workforce still feel isolated and largely disconnected from their peers.
Two basics of making a human connection is seeing and hearing someone, and at the height of the pandemic this was largely lost to some degree. Thankfully, this can be remedied with technology. Don’t worry, gone are the days of virtual meetings being a slow and cumbersome nightmare plagued with tech issues. Nowadays there are a whole host of applications that easily enable you and your team to virtually meet with your team, while maintaining clear video and audio quality. One such application is Microsoft Teams. Packed full of features, Microsoft Teams offer a powerful and sleek chat client, video conference calls, assistant bots, screen-sharing, file sharing and channel-based working, to name a small few. Whether you want to call a friend on a break or create a morning huddle with your entire team, the tools are available to help this all happen. In fact, Microsoft Teams have a free version to download, so why not jump in and connect.
Sometimes newcomers may find it difficult to speak up in a meeting or partake in activities. This can often lead to a new employee becoming disconnected from a company and its employees, and that’s certainly not where you want to find someone, whether you’re their colleague or their employer. One excellent way to prevent this is to assign a current employee to the newcomer, and act as a mentor of sorts. Whether it’s aiding them with daily tasks until they find their feet, doing a video call to simply get to know each other or use the time as a two-way learning experience, no one needs to join a company and feel left out. So, put it into action and watch those relationships blossom.
Yes, the 2019 pandemic did change everything, but as we can see there are tools that can help reshape the work-from home-landscape from one that can often be cold, sterile, and divisive into one that is welcoming, inclusive and full of social interaction. As times change we need to change alongside it, and these suggestions are small steps that may revolutionise how a work-from-home employee views their place in a company.
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