Let’s face it — the pandemic is going to have a lasting effect on the American workforce and shape how we continue into the future. Slowing down isn’t an option (particularly for those of us in the real estate industry), so now is the time to adapt. Sure, we’ve had our bumps in the road, but all of us on the SBP team are now unofficial WFH connoisseurs. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to stay connected with your team while working from home — which Forbes just so happened to pick up on. Oh, and pro tip? Tequila Zoom tastings are the ultimate bonding experience.
1. Virtual Meetings & Morning Check-Ins
When you work in an office environment, you see the same people almost every day, and you even start to grow fond of some of them. In all seriousness, face-to-face interaction alleviates miscommunication and helps keep a strong bond among the group. That’s why we recommend at least one weekly virtual meeting with your entire team, along with shorter check-ins among smaller groups (which we call accountability meetings on the SBP team). This is vital to the success of any remote team.
2. Share Your Calendar
Without having to commute to work every day, reorganizing our schedules in a way that allows us to stay on track and differentiate work time from home time as been incredibly helpful. So, share your calendars. It’s a great way for your team to feel connected. Plus, it can also inspire confidence in managers that remote employees are tackling the day’s tasks and meeting deadlines. As F. Ron always says, if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.
3. Embrace The New Era Of Instant Messenger
Gone are the days of leaning over your desk to ask a question or popping into your boss’s office for speedy approval. So, what do you do when you need a quick answer? Message them from your desktop, of course. Adding iMessage, Slack, WhatsApp and the like to your dock allows for rapid responses from your colleagues. Not only that, but it also accelerates productivity and keeps everyone connected. Let’s not forget that you can send around funny GIFs, too.
4. Email, Text, Call
When important messages — or in our case, hot leads — come in, it’s critical that you remember this mantra: email, text, call. One major worry for small business owners when working remotely is that they’ll miss a connection with one of their clients, which is where receptionists can step in to email, text or call you — or whoever on the team is involved with the deal. As we know, responding to a client inquiry within the first five minutes gives you the highest chance of success, and this method is your best shot at achieving fast response times.
5. Team Bonding — From Home
While offices are clearly designated for work, they’re also social environments where people can share details about their lives and common interests. When you’re not in the same room as your co-workers, it becomes difficult to continue this connection that has ultimately strengthened the bonds of your group as a whole. Do not fret! While working remotely, there are countless ways to share your experiences while keeping your distance. Kickstart a book club, watch the same Netflix show, implement a virtual happy hour at 5 pm each week. You could even host a tequila or wine tasting over Zoom, which we did just a few weeks ago. There’s nothing like a good virtual cheers to bring everyone together.
If making the shift to a remote workforce was not in your 2020 business plan, we hope that these tips will help your team stay connected throughout this time of change. It’s important to know that there will be challenges, but resolving them together will reinforce your group as a whole. At the end of the day, we’re not just coworkers; we’re friends — and in many cases, family. Keep your wits, remain calm and stay the course.