Connecting At Work While Social Distancing

With coronavirus upon us, how do we stay away from people while maintaining the connections we need to get stuff done?

It seems hard, but it’s easily do-able with a smidgen of effort.

What appears to be the best strategy to slow the growth of this virus is to, effectively, shut down the face-to-face economy. Because the virus is so dangerous to the elderly, we must take it seriously. Some have suggested it’s no big deal. Obviously, they’re wrong. While we’re a few weeks late at implementing best practices for limiting spread, the best way to stop this pandemic is to minimize contact.

Fortunately, we live in a highly technical communications world, and we must turn to it for action. Businesses can continue to have lots of interactions and meetings via conference call, and using technologies like Zoom for easy video conferencing.

Teleworking is possible for many people as well. The most important philosophy for teleworking is to communicate and stay connected, as if you are in the office next door. I’ve had employees telecommunicating for years, and here’s the successful procedures I’ve instituted at my office for employees working at home:

It’s your responsibility to OVER-COMMUNICATE with staff during the day, every day, about your whereabouts, and to reach out and collaborate by phone, email and text.
When you begin the day, email all staff that you are working and provide your contact information. Be available through your contact information.
When you take an extended break (such as lunch), email all staff.
When you complete the workday, email all staff.
Call fellow employees on the phone whenever possible when you need to discuss an issue or come to a decision. Clearly you can email if that works well, but the philosophy is to try and mimic the experience of being in the office, where you would go to a colleague’s office, or a conference room, to have a conversation.
Take the initiative to communicate, and you can have a seamless work experience during this trying time.

Check out my book Connect! How to Quickly Collaborate for Success in Business and Life. You’ll get lots of great ideas for connecting with those around you and making all your interactions more positive and effective.

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