5 effective ways to stay connected and productive while social distancing

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

By Emma Worden

Given the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging across the globe, it’s more important than ever before for entrepreneurs and business leaders to maintain social distancing, and manage their teams remotely. Remote work is the only real way to adhere to the social distancing rules and regulations, and it is the most effective way to ensure employee safety. While it might seem like a challenge, you actually can run a successful small business while working from your home office and managing remote teams.

To achieve this, you will have to optimize various processes as well as your work environment, and you will have to leverage technology to communicate with your employees, as well as provide stellar customer service to your customers. Let’s take a look at the five ways you can stay connected and productive while social distancing and manage a thriving digital team.

Optimize your home office

Starting with your own work area, it’s important that you optimize your home office for maximum productivity and daylong zeal. After all, it can be a challenge to stay focused throughout the day when you’re stuck at home all the time, and some people even have a deep intrinsic need to work in a proper office space to get anything done.

This can be a challenge, which is why you can’t just lie back on the couch with your laptop; instead, you have to create a professional work setting of your own. Start by getting a proper work desk and an ergonomic chair. Make this your focus zone, and organize your workstation the same way you would in your primary office. Be sure to devise a system and label everything so you can minimize time waste. Don’t forget to put some strategic greenery up on display to keep you positive and stifle fatigue.

Boost collaboration with the right tools

Moving on to collaboration, there is no denying that a remote team can only be as productive as the collaboration tools allow them to be. Before we delve into the communication tech you should be using, it’s important to note that collaboration tools are also essential in maintaining productivity and ensuring that every project is moving forward without interruptions.

Now that you are not able to manage your projects in person, you have to rely on comprehensive project and task management tools, especially if you’re handling major projects such as e-commerce integration and trying to expand your retail business to offer online shopping, for example. These types of projects are highly complex and require real-time collaboration between numerous teams, which you can only do in the digital world through feature-rich project management software.

Upgrade your communication tech with VoIP

Speaking of essential technologies for remote and in-house teams, it’s imperative that you have a strong communication strategy that’s supported by cloud-based tech like VoIP instead of relying on a traditional phone system. Legacy phone systems are ill-equipped to handle the needs of a digital workforce, especially if you’re managing remote national and international teams.

On the other hand, upgrading to a reliable business phone system like VoIP provides various digital features that allow you to manage an efficient and effective remote team, but also manage all external communication with your customers easily. This is especially important for international teams because VoIP does not incur the high call costs like traditional phone systems, and you can elevate communication through video conferencing, call analytics, mobile apps and optimization, and more.

Stick to a strict and healthy schedule

Circling back to your at-home work and your own routine, it’s important to note that you can’t maintain a healthy work-life balance if you don’t adhere to a strict and healthy schedule. Don’t allow your work to spill over into the free time you could be using to hang out with your loved ones or enjoy your hobbies, because it’s important to nurture your emotional and psychological well-being.

If you’re looking for the best ways to get your small business off the ground, then you have to devise a healthy work schedule, keep yourself accountable, and most importantly, you have to know when to take a break. This way, you will get more done during the day and you will have enough time to devote to your personal needs.

Chat with your team members

Finally, remember that not all communication with your team members should be about work. It’s important to preserve that balance between work and leisure time, just like you would in your head office when you take a break to chat with your colleagues in the rec room.

Be sure to schedule some time for non-work-related talk, and try to talk to your team members one on one if you have the time. Ask them how they are feeling and if there is anything you can do to make this period a little less stressful for them – they are bound to appreciate it, and feel valued and respected by their boss.

Wrapping up

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many business leaders to send their employees home, and while this might seem daunting at first glance, keep in mind that you can maintain business-wide efficiency and productivity if you follow the right steps. With these tips in mind and the right tech at your side, you should have no problem staying productive until the crisis is over.


Emma Worden is a digital marketer and blogger from Sydney, Australia. After getting a marketing degree she started working with Australian startups on business and marketing development. Emma writes for many relevant, industry related online publications and does a job of an executive editor at Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University.

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