Talk about the weather...
Experienced personnel managers know about the motivating forces of a strong sense of unity. Those who feel a part of their team automatically feel good. And those who feel good can efficiently dedicate their energy to the actual work. Consequently, a strong, stable team spirit ensures greater motivation and productivity in the accomplishment of common tasks.
But with the shift of work to the home office, the tried and tested mechanisms of team building are suddenly no longer available. From one moment to the next, joint coffee and lunch breaks, chance encounters in the hallway or brief feedback across the desk are no longer possible. And this special situation could sooner or later evolve from an interim solution to a new standard; at least if one considers the ongoing pandemic or Federal Minister of Labor Heil's push for a "right to home office". So it is high time to specifically address team building in the home office.
Teambuilding in the home office is above all a communication issue. But which communication principles are helpful to maintain (or revive?) the team spirit?
Establish regular updates
The use of technical platforms that enable team communication in sound and vision has now become a nationwide standard. Fixed update dates should be as well. Keep all team members up to date, set daily and weekly goals together and record progress. In this way, all the players will keep in touch with their work.
Create transparent working hours
Start of work 7.30 a.m. - who else is there this early? How long can I reach Mr. Meier today? When does Mrs. Müller's important customer appointment take place today? Stay close to each other as team members through a transparent work structure.
Increase your communication frequency
The major part of communication at the workplace takes place on the side and is often not even perceived as such. Asking a query briefly across the table or asking for information in the kitchen is no longer possible in the home office. But don't let this "communicative casualness" completely fall by the wayside - most platforms offer chat functions that can be used to quickly clarify even short queries or send a funny comment on a meeting. The rule of thumb: If you make yourself heard, you won't be forgotten. While working in home office, it is better to communicate too much than too little.
Talk about the weather
"Talk about the weather," recommends communications expert Marie Hartmann in the stepstone podcast "HR Snackbar". Even in the same city, different weather conditions can exist in different districts at the same time. Talking about current sensitivities or spatial situations helps you put yourself in each other's shoes. Start every meeting with a short informal exchange. It will bring you closer together.
Initiate informal meetings
Informal appointments, in which primarily personal topics or the usual "office gossip" are the focus of attention, keep you connected as personalities - not only as colleagues. Examples would be a virtual coffee break or a virtual lunch break. Show interest in each other!
Nothing motivates as much as your own success. Therefore, make sure that you communicate all successful projects and successfully completed tasks accordingly for a larger circle. Even in your home office, praise from superiors and colleagues should not be missing. After all, good news improves the mood as if by magic.
With these tips, team building in the home office can begin. So, which message do you send first?