Working with virtual teams

Whilst some staff are venturing back to the office environment, this might not be on a full-time basis – either due to flexible furlough or still working from home for a number of days per week. For many, the enforced working from home, whilst initially viewed as a possible problem, find they actually prefer it. We are aware of some staff requesting to work from home all the time – but is this realistic? This might work for some – but probably not in all cases.

Whilst methods of communication are available, it does not always mean they are used. There has probably been a surge in email usage – the bane of our lives. However, instant messaging and the use of video calls via Skype or Zoom etc. has also grown.

What about those staff on furlough - perhaps now continuously for several months-and may be on furlough for a few more yet? There seems to be a complete spectrum of keeping staff informed and checking on their welfare – or not, as the case may be. Some employers report regular scheduled Zoom meetings with all the team and virtual drinks or virtual lunches to keep everyone up to speed and boost morale, and at the other end of the spectrum there are staff that have no idea what is going on, when they might return to work etc. and no contact has been made with them whatsoever.

Staff training and on the job guidance is not so easy when all are working from home. The face to face contact where someone can wonder down a corridor and stick their head around a door and ask someone how to perform a particular task or show them how to do something is much more difficult. Yes, there is Zoom or similar, but this needs both parties to be available at the same time.

 But there are other issues – and also some ways around them.

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