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12 tips to collaborate as a team from home

New, good working habits thanks to Covid-19

As an office design specialist, Colliers knows better than anyone that the working environment must be a place where people feel good and motivated, can work together efficiently but also have enough quiet space to work alone. The corona crisis is forcing companies to adapt their existing working habits and encourage teleworking more than ever before. 

Working from home is not a new phenomenon, but full teams working remotely at the same time is. Many teleworking systems are not yet up and running today. That is why this is the perfect moment to optimize this system. This means that the home office will become part of the 'working environment' now, and perhaps also in the future.

Moreover, it is extremely important to ensure that team members are not isolated. Using the latest technologies, we can stay in touch remotely and grow into an efficient, teleworking team. To work as a team from home, Colliers provides 12 tips that can be useful for teleworkers. 

1. Teleworking policy 
As an organization, it is important to have a 'teleworking policy', or policy related to working from home. This way all employees know what they may, can or should do from home. For example, can you combine working from home, under normal circumstances, with babysitting a child, sick or otherwise? Do you have to use the same working hours, or can you start very early and/or start later and end later? In addition, it is crucial to review the guidelines annually to keep them up to date and accurate.

2. Social contact
To make the work-life balance more balanced and productive, people need social interactions. The importance of conversations between colleagues should not be neglected. After all, daily interaction between colleagues would help prevent isolation.

3. Activate work
When colleagues know each other's availability, share calendars and set deadlines, team discussions or virtual 'stand-ups' can be scheduled. In this way, work can be activated remotely.  

4. Technology
In order to stay in touch with colleagues and customers remotely, it is a good plan to use recognized, approved connections and powerful communication and document software such as Slack, Skype, Teams, Google-docs, Salesforce, Chatter, Quip, Hive, DropBox, etc.

5. Videoconferencing
Nowadays every laptop is equipped with a camera. So anyone can participate in videoconferencing. Team conversations with a camera not only increase the sense of connection between the team members, but they also increase the productivity of the meetings. It is best to make camera videoconferencing a fixed rule.

6. Meetings
It is smart to also set clear agenda items for each video meeting. This is the only way the meeting can run efficiently without wasting valuable time.

7. Obligations
When an entire team starts teleworking, everyone bears a certain responsibility. It is important to fulfil agreements and obligations and to communicate transparently. That creates trust.

8. Management practices
It is a good idea to keep communicating about the goals and initiatives of the company. In this way, the entire team is kept up to date with the group's objectives and whether or not they are being achieved.

9. Timetable & design workspace
To avoid distractions, it is a good idea to draw up a personal schedule of work and leisure moments. The choice of workspace is also extremely important. Preference is given to a room that is isolated from other housemates, has pleasant (natural) lighting, contains a comfortable office chair and offers a fast internet connection.

10. Separate work and private life
Working from home can blur the boundaries between work and private life. For this reason, it is extremely important to draw up rules on the layout of a homeworking day.

11. Personal well-being
It is important to attach importance to personal well-being from home as well by taking enough breaks, being rested and - if possible - getting some air in between.

12. Innovation
The way in which organisations are teleworking today can certainly be improved. Now is the perfect time to look for innovative ideas that can optimise teleworking for the future. 

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Annick Vandenbulcke

Head of Occupier Advisory | Managing Director

Brussels (Colliers)

As Head of Occupier Advisory I help clients to develop real estate solutions that support their business strategy. Wheather they want to improve their image, optimize their finances, support growth or create a cultural change, their real estate can help achieve these challanges.  With a large experience in workplace strategy, tenant representation and office fitout I can provide advice throughout the whole real estate process. 

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