The coronavirus pandemic has changed life as we know it in what feels like the blink of an eye. Just a few weeks ago, there was news about countries that had been affected and the dangers of the virus. But, with each day that passes, the reality of COVID-19 is becoming more and more real for people everywhere around the world.
In an effort to stop or slow the spread of disease, the world has been asked to practice social distancing—deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Schools are closing, companies are mandating that employees work from home, huge events are being canceled, and travel restrictions are being put in place. At a time like this, it’s easy to feel a bit panicked and fearful about the changes going on. No matter who you are or what profession you’re in, this is affecting everyone in some capacity.
One group being affected by the pandemic are the 9 to 5 workers who work in large offices. Businesses everywhere are scrambling to find ways to stay connected with their customers and with each other during this crazy time. Whether you’re a work from home newbie or a seasoned veteran, it’s important to find ways to stay connected in the coming weeks.
These tips will help you stay connected and keep people in your company happy and productive during this time of social distancing.
Utilize video conferencing software
If your company is going remote, get ready to increase your video calls. Virtual face-to-face meetings with colleagues and clients are an extremely productive way to get things done when working remotely. Plus, modern video conferencing software comes with a multitude of features. Video conferencing software allows you to establish morning huddle rituals or for managers to still hold regularly scheduled meetings with clients.
Tip: Use video conferencing software with instant messaging (IM) features.
Sometimes, a video call is the best way to accomplish a task. Other times, you just need to ask a quick question. Instant messaging allows you to quickly and easily reach colleagues without cluttering their inbox. Think about when you’re at work and you go tap on your colleague’s shoulder to get an answer to your question; IM is the virtual way of doing this. It can be used for questions that might get lost in an email but also aren’t large enough issues to warrant a video call.
As your company transitions to remote work, a great tool to implement (if you haven’t already) is Microsoft Teams. A unified communication and collaboration platform that is used for workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration, Microsoft Teams can help your entire team stay productive while working from home. The messaging and video conference features will help you seamlessly transition from the office to 100% remote.
Now more than ever, LinkedIn is a critical business networking tool that everyone in your company should be using. Not only does it help you stay connected with colleagues and current customers, but it can help salespeople prospect and close new business.
If your company has a sales division, consider the impact that LinkedIn could make at this time. Many companies are going remotely or not working at all; therefore, prospects may not be available via email or phone the way that they were previously. Since LinkedIn is a social networking tool, it can be used to chat with people at any time.
It’s important to remember at a time like this that you want to build valuable relationships with potential customers and not just skip straight to a sales pitch. Ways to do this include:
- Establish credibility with thought leadership. COVID-19 is on everyone’s radar at this point, but if you can position yourself as a thought leader to potential customers, you’ll earn their respect. Share tips that a company might find valuable and show that your company is taking the necessary precautions as well.
- Share how you can add value. Let your connections do the talking. Let them share what their pain points look like right now. If you have a solution that could help them, only then should you share.
- Align with marketing. If you have other divisions in your company like a marketing team, make sure your process is aligned with theirs after this transition period. If someone is interested in a product or service you offer, you want to make the buying process as smooth as possible for them during this time.
- Connect, connect, connect. Build up your network as much as possible. Whether it’s with your own colleagues or with prospects, the more connections you have, the more access you’ll have to the resources you need to be successful working from home.
LinkedIn offers tools for salespeople, a way for colleagues to stay connected with each other, and so much more. If you haven’t joined LinkedIn yet or you’re not an active user, now is the time to start.
Keep your company culture
We all realize the weight of this situation, but business must go on as usual. A positive workplace culture will keep everyone in your company happy and productive. Make sure to acknowledge the situation when appropriate, but also show employees that working from home can be fun and doesn’t have to be difficult or scary.
Ways to maintain a positive workplace culture during this time include:
- Hold daily huddles between teams using a video conferencing software
- Send out regular communication and be transparent with employees
- Encourage employees to engage with social media posts
- Post contests on social media (cutest pet, best work from home outfit, etc.)
- Share tips on social media (tips to stay focused, tips for staying organized, etc.)
- Go live on your company’s Instagram to share updates, engage with employees, etc.
Companies have chosen to go remote because it is best for everyone’s health and safety. It doesn’t mean the entire face of the company has to change or that day-to-day work has to be different. The sooner your employees realize this, the better off everyone will be.
Support each other whenever possible
Last but certainly not least—we have to support each other during this time. The best thing we can do for each other during a time like this is come together. At the end of the day, employees are people. Yes, business must go on as usual, but make sure to check in on your friends as much as possible.
According to Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a research psychologist at Brigham Young University, giving support can be even more beneficial than receiving it. Helping others can potentially help them, but it helps us to feel connected as well. So, whenever you have a break from work, check in on your friends and see how they’re doing. The positive impact it will have on both of you will make it well worth it.
Are you worried about your business making it through this challenging time? For more tips in the coming weeks on staying healthy and managing a remote workforce, follow Abstrakt Marketing Group on social media or contact us today.