The year 2020 opened a Pandora box that we know it’s not being closed any time soon now. After a dramatic increase in the global remote workforce due to the COVID-19, organizations have started to wonder what else they can do to increase the overall wellbeing of their workers, now that the threat of stress, loneliness and reduced performance is over their heads.
Teams of all sizes have been experiencing shifts in motivation and team morale, as worker conditions stress the lack of boundaries between work and home, lack of shared mental models between the teammates, and harder visibility of daily progress that leads to lower recognition, among other things.
Many industries themselves have seen tectonic shifts in their course of action since last year that have caused everything, from abrupt changes in their annual objectives to mass layoffs. We all get it. 2020 wasn’t the easiest year to work with, and 2021 arrived with many expectations on recovery and the general feeling of going back to normal.
However a new normal has been in the works for months, with companies like Twitter, Box, and Upwork sharing new policies in favor of a rather permanent distributed workforce. This supposes the rise of remote-first work culture along with the challenges of building stronger, happier distributed teams.
One of the most discussed pitfalls of distributed work is that too often we get caught up in our work and forget to recognize each other, have some fun, and celebrate the small victories. So we want to help you set goals for you and your team, track performance and reward excellence the DailyBot way.
A strong motivator
DailyBot is a chat-first platform built for team collaboration. As a bot that integrates with your favorite communication tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams, it provides the immediate benefits of in-chat kudos and positive feedback. Teams using DailyBot to share with their colleagues can quickly provide comments on each other’s work like a casual conversation, and move onto the web app to visualize their kudos history, charts and a leaderboard. This creates a feedback loop that constantly boosts the motivation of all parties involved.
Furthermore, it allows all teammates to contrast the progress they discuss in chat with this feedback in real time, so there’s always a clear sense of where everyone’s going and how victories fit in the company’s goals. The app has also company values integrated by default, which means that teams can align their feedback to the larger vision of their organizations.
It was not so long ago that we were in the early stages of IMs and chatbots themselves, but the technology that gave us the emoji revolution, has evolved to the point where teams can seamlessly switch between videoconferences to the chat while making sure that no one is left behind. Teams can also add DailyBot’s regular check-ins into their workflow to encourage teamwork and inspire better results in their people. Working cohesively and sharing the small and big wins not only increases productivity, but helps us feel less isolated and more engaged with what they’re doing.
This is especially important in teams shifting to distributed working only recently, where the pressure of maintaining the rhythm clashes with new expectations of the teams as space dynamics change, and the natural need of some workers for external motivators.
Listening before acting
DailyBot also offers polls to collect instant feedback from the crowd, and has a section to track the team morale privately so you can visualize changes in mood over time. In a world where organizations are making changes to survive and our team dynamics are being challenged by technology and our own personal lives, setting up a quiet weekly survey to track your team’s mental health is not something to take for granted.
As team leaders, even if the immediate threat of discomfort isn’t obvious in our (virtual) office, having the right space for our teams to recharge, express themselves, and redirect their energies is a good way to keep ourselves ahead of the curve. In this regard, at DailyBot we’ve prepared a series of templates to contemplate wellness at work, including an essential mental health check, icebreakers, among other check-ins.
All these steps ensure that we as leaders keep our senses sharp. Given that co-working spaces aren’t really an option for all teams, we must step up and use all the resources at our disposal to ensure we can always read the room accurately, and we can predict individual and group behavior enough to plan for the highs and lows.
Naturally, all of this starts by enforcing a culture of digital discipline across the organization. As anthropologist Dave Cook pointed out: “If working near other people is important, the need for a disciplined work life is everything.” Granted, all these concepts, processes and tools won't be worth a thing if there isn’t an ongoing effort for maintaining stability and good health for all workers.
And while more family time, less commuting time, and increased productivity are all lauded reasons for shifting to distributed working (that, of course, if we don’t count the shutdown because of a global pandemic), the trend for this year also suggests that the thrill of working from home isn’t enough to keep our productivity engines going for so long.
This year, as we’ve discussed, will be important not only as a time for recovery and healing globally, but to prove ourselves in the field, to rise above every occasion along the way and use the juncture to devise a better work-life balance, as they say: “fitter, happier, more productive.”