As an advisor your job depends on effective communication. Especially in today’s world, a digital experience is more critical than ever. When digital communication risks getting lost in translation, how do you maintain confidence and stay connected? Here are some ways our team has handled it:
With the distance that comes with remote work, we have less visibility into what colleagues are working on, struggling with and have questions about. Assumptions can easily creep in. Be sure to proactively ask for clarification and help. Don’t be afraid to reach out more often and make the most of your interactions.
On video calls, it’s difficult to speak up without interrupting each other (although it’s inevitable) and topics can easily move forward without everyone contributing. It’s easy to interpret silence as a consensus. I’ve found it helpful to take a moment to provide everyone an opportunity to speak and contribute throughout the call. Don’t shy away from leaving your video camera on; sharing that authentic part of yourself builds even stronger connections.
Over-communicate -- let people know where to reach you, clear up confusion with a quick call, make time for water cooler chat. And make sure to reach out to colleagues to say hello...letting someone know you’re there for them goes a long way.
Consider over-communicating at the company level as well. Our People & Places SVP, Sally, sends weekly company bulletins and our CEO, Eric, hosts an informal company-wide video Town Hall every Friday morning to cover the most relevant topics and recognize team wins. It’s a dynamic time, so having this time to ground us has been extremely beneficial for everyone.
We’re big #slack users. We created a new channel called “awkward work from home moments” to give our team a place to share their experience while offering the occasional moment of levity. So many of us are dealing with distractions: pets joining video calls, sharing crowded spaces with friends or family members, homeschooling kids and the list goes on. Whatever it is, we’ve all brought our work into our homes and we have accepted the fact that we can’t control our surroundings. Sharing human moments has helped boost morale.
But sometimes it does get awkward and yes, these are all real screenshots from Addepar meetings…
Create a Daily Ritual
Working from home can be a big transition. Addepar employees have shared that they’re struggling to maintain healthy practices – eating well, exercise, getting fresh air – in addition to the regular workday schedule and responsibilities caring for others. We want people to be able to find the best balance between work and personal commitments. Working from home shouldn’t mean rolling over and reaching for your laptop. Consider building a morning routine to help you transition into work mode: enjoy breakfast with your family (I’ve been making pancakes), de-stress with some morning yoga or take a walk around the block as a substitute for your commute, FaceTime with a friend. Take scheduled breaks throughout the day. And at the end of the day, be sure to shut down at a reasonable time and make the space to unwind. Structure your workday around clear start and end times and communicate your working hours to co-workers.
Continue Building Community
It’s been fun to watch colleagues connecting remotely through the activities they care about.
With #yoga, we’re sharing our favorite yoga apps and Youtube channels to follow along with for an at-home workout. We also hosting group #peloton rides and share our new favorite running, biking and walking routes.
#whatsyourjam is where we share our favorite playlists for concentration, energy or ambiance.
#food-you-can-do is where we share cooking and baking tips, new recipes and in-a-pinch meals. Here are a few of the latest creations we’ve cooked up.
Virtual Social Events
I saved my favorite for last. Despite the distance, we’re still committed to finding ways to come together socially. Teams and colleagues are setting up virtual lunches, coffee breaks and happy hours. Here are some photos from a virtual St. Patrick’s Day celebration, hosted by our #AddePride Group.
If you have any tips of your own, we’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org