In times of struggle or crisis, how do we protect our sense of community and help each other maintain business success?
Necessity is indeed the mother of invention, and no matter the size of your business, being able to adapt is imperative.
Whether you’re used to working from home, or it’s your first time, there are ways that we can help each other get through the next few months.
Here are some of the best tips that I have learnt from the global startup community, which may help you ace working from home in such unprecedented times.
Host (virtual) events
Turn physical events to virtual ones. Tech tools, such as Zoom’s webinar function, are available to help host face-to-face programming.
There are many tools out there, so take the time to find the one that works for you, and the number of attendees you anticipate.
Join external events
For those working solo or in a small team, keep an eye out for virtual talks, workshops, ask-me-anything sessions and fun virtual events such as remote meditation within the wider community.
Even if you weren’t a virtual person before, this is an opportunity to keep inspired, remain connected and learn.
Something as simple as turning your video on allows remote teams to see each other and is a great first step in maintaining a sense of community.
Plus, making all of your interactions video-enabled means you’ll have an extra push to make yourself presentable. No lounging in activewear with messy hair, being in proper attire allows you to feel more in the work zone for those meetings.
Humans are social beings, and Slack is a useful tool for building community, not just communication.
One of the best features of Slack, when you’re looking to maintain morale, is ‘/giphy [TEXT]’, which allows you to choose gifs to share with the channel you’re in.
Breaking up the workday with lighthearted moments of fun can keep everyone’s spirits high and boost productivity.
Invest your usual commute time towards supporting colleagues, fellow artists or emerging companies whose contribution during this time shouldn’t go unnoticed.
A shout out to a local business or startup on social media is free of charge, requires minimal effort and makes you feel good. It’s a great way to develop your connections, even if you’re unable to meet face-to-face.
So tap into your network and those you want to get to know; a friendly check-in message can go a long way.
Stick to a schedule
It’s very easy for founders to sit and work from sunrise to sunset, but what’s the fun in that?
On a regular day, you’ve got commutes, chit chat in the office and a lunch hour.
These moments of downtime are important. Incorporate them into your working-from-home routine by scheduling them into your calendar. To make sure it’s not skipped, invite others to join.
A social and fun option is to invite a friend for a virtual lunchtime catch up.
If you’re in the habit of setting weekly goals, then setting deadlines is a must. It makes you accountable and adds a feeling of purpose during a time where your daily routine may become bland.
The satisfaction of striking a big item off your to-do list will be a welcome emotional high.
Make an effort to not only check-in with your internal teams, but those in your network too — particularly solo entrepreneurs, who might be finding it difficult to work in isolation for such a long period.
This environment is ripe for creative solutions and what is clear is that we are better when we work together.
We are all going through an unprecedented time, where there is no playbook for how we can and should be adapting.
However, we should use this time as an opportunity. Whether it’s to learn something new, or taking the time to connect with new contacts, it’s important that we find creative ways to support each other.