Pre-Covid, working remotely and being part of a virtual team was something many of us dreamed of.

Often deemed as a benefit for a select few, many would never have imagined how rapidly it would be adopted — and why!

In most cases, it was something that only the most flexible and forward-thinking companies would allow. Rarely a full-time option, but instead, an occasional perk. Lockdown changed that in more ways than one, as we’ve seen an increase in temporary employees, ‘side hustle’ jobs and freelancing, all based at home.  

According to our Bionic Business report published at the end of last year, just over one third (37%) of those we spoke to have not yet been back to the office since lockdown began. 75% of these were from organisations with 1,000 people or more. A total of 41% of businesses are planning for their teams to be working from home most of the time or splitting their time between home and the office. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as global giants such as Twitter have shared with their staff a decision to allow remote working for everyone in the company on a permanent basis. We explore this topic in more detail here.

As a result, challenges within internal communications have arisen around line manager comms and engagement, team collaboration and wellbeing.

We’ve put together a helpful list of 5 tools to make the transition as simple as possible.

Miro

The first tool on our list is Miro, an online visual collaboration platform. No matter how you want to describe a virtual team — work from home, telecommuting, distributed or remote — a whiteboard tool brings people together for an engaging meeting experience. Offering visual mapping and diagramming to easily explain complex processes, agile workflows for planning and brainstorming sessions for sharing ideas, Miro transforms online meetings from dull to interesting. With enterprise-level security and the ability to co-create with stakeholders, projects and tasks become streamlined and easier to manage.

Intranet

A familiar word to most comms professionals, an intranet is vital to encouraging positive workplace communication. However, making the most of a company intranet is largely down to the users, who are of course, the employees. An intranet is the best place for sharing company updates, asking for employee feedback to changes and linking to resources for each specific department. Keeping employees motivated whilst working remotely is possible, with the use of recognition and reward initiatives, knowledge sharing and ensuring connection across locations and time zones.

CoSchedule

Sold as a marketing work management software, but equally great for communications teams, CoSchedule is ideal for planning projects across teams and tracking progress. This tool is user-friendly, set out as a simple calendar display with a highly efficient set of functions designed to follow a campaign from start to finish. For example, users of CoSchedule are able to create a project, setting a title, due date and assigning team members to associated tasks. The best part is the functionality that allows the integration of other platforms such as WordPress and Buffer, to create a full campaign around each piece of content. This tool takes away the need for multiple platforms and gives teams the ability to see an overview of upcoming projects and where their help is required.

Headspace

With corporate clients such as LinkedIn and Google, Headspace is a mindfulness app offered to employees as a health benefit. Now, more than ever, mindfulness and a focus on the mental health of the workforce is essential. This app offers some free content, before a subscription is required, which is a handy way of deciding if it works for your team before investing. The idea behind it is to get employees to take time out to rest and recharge, with the help of easy-to-follow mindfulness exercises. The result is ideally higher productivity and better communication for remote teams.

Asana

A great one for line managers, Asana allows bosses to assign tasks in order of priority to their team and keep an eye on progress. This is especially helpful for keeping to deadlines and monitoring the progress of a project. These tasks appear as a digital check list where employees can check off when a task is completed or highlight if something needs extra time. Asana also holds the benefit of being able to colour code projects, depending on the work type and priority level. Several page views are available, meaning that tasks can be viewed as a list, a board or a calendar and analytics can also be reviewed.

If you’d like support with implementing any of these tools, you can get in touch with us via our simplyconsulting page.

THE AUTHOR

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