5.1.20

Collaborating with remote employees

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Tips and resources to help your team work more collaboratively.

If there’s one thing we’ve all learned during the pandemic, it’s how important communication is for productivity. Working remotely means you have to find ways to keep internal communication channels open.

Here at Consumers, we recently won the Collaboration Champions Award from Jostle for driving collaboration and sharing knowledge on our intranet, Connect. Connect is more than a library of corporate resources; it’s also where we share announcements, post classified, follow newsfeeds and more. The award in context of the coronavirus outbreak made us think: Hey, we have knowledge that can help other teams right now—let’s share what we know. Keep reading for tips and resources to help your team work more collaboratively.

Have a huddle

Keeping everyone on the same page means getting everyone together at least once a week in the digital sphere.

Author and TED Talk speaker Simon Sinek recommends a Monday morning huddle for the whole team. Give everyone a chance to check in. It’s not about work or to-do lists, he says; it’s about staying connected and building trust. We find this to be true.

Turn the cameras on

If a picture is worth a thousand words, video is worth a million.

“Video calls are more engaging due to the lack of visual cues in audio-conferencing,” according Spencer Waldron, director of global communications at Prezi in a Business Insider interview.

“What happens then is you see me and I see you. I see how you’re reacting to something I’m talking about. You’re more connected to the person that you’re watching.” Read more of Waldron’s tips.

Plus, during this time of distant socializing we find seeing each other’s faces a good way to get the human connection we all need and crave.

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Set expectations
Harvard Business Review recommends that managers establish rules of engagement with employees. Let your team know the frequency of and timing of communication. Decide how often you need check-in meetings and what kind of things can be handled on IM or text.

Also, let your team know the best way and time to reach you. For example, you may prefer texts early in the day when you’re helping your kids get their schoolwork going and videoconference later in the day. Also, let them know the best way to reach you if something is urgent.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for all teams. Within our many groups here at Consumers, we adapt our communication based on business needs and timing. Flexibility helps us get things done while honoring individual employee work styles.

Have a bit of fun

One thing about remote working is that we don’t have as many opportunities for the good-natured fun that naturally arises when working at the office. Share jokes (that are work-appropriate, of course), tell funny stories about the frustration of homeschooling or hold a spirit week celebration (e.g., favorite mug day, sports team, baby picture).

Another way to have fun is play online games like Cards Against Humanity, use Zoom’s Whiteboard to play Pictionary (you’ll have to come up with your prompts) or play other trivia games. Some teams even have happy hours where they play games.

Keeping your sense of humor and playing some games can help boost morale and connect teams beyond work-related tasks. Right now, human connection is more important than ever!

Consumers offers banking services for more than 100,000 members. If you have banking questions, call us at 800-991-2221. We make it easy to bank how you want, when you want. During the coronavirus confinement, we’re available online, by phone, and by appointment at select offices equipped to maximize safety.

Federally insured by NCUA

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Tools and resources

Find the financial tools and resources you need during these uncertain times and stay up-to-date on our latest response to COVID-19.

Learn more

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