Once again, the reality of working from home has hit our team at FableStreet. We had gradually resumed working in the office. Starting from a few days in October to complete resumption in January, and for that reason, it was difficult to get back to work from home scenario, yet again. For the second innings of the lockdown, we were better prepared than the last time. We made peace with it quicker and started to look for ways to function things properly.
The concept of workspace has changed completely. Without the tea breaks in the canteen or a defined lunch hour with our co-workers, the working days are just not as much fun as they used to be. From being around each other for over 9 hours to keeping up through texts and calls, our work life has taken a drastic turn.
With all the learnings of the first lockdown, our team left no stone unturned to make our lives easier in the second round. With all the brainstorming sessions and research of tools, our team is now functioning perfectly even in the comfort zone of their homes. As we have started to practice some amazing ideas, we have now aced the virtual setup and are also connected to the whole team.
With a few best practices, our FS Team has changed the connectivity game and here are some of our ways of dealing with it.
Communicating and Building Trust
With changing dynamics of work-life, FableStreet has been working on growing its team in the last year. Without meeting people in real life, it is tough to establish trust, a sense of connection, and visibility of work. However, mutual trust between us has made things easier. Without keeping an eye on everyone, our team has been productive. Every task is delivered on time and it has been possible because of the trust factor.
Also, to make things more comfortable, every member has the liberty to take a break for themselves. Being a responsible member of the team, all they have to do is inform the team about their absence.
With new members joining our team, we knew it was going to be difficult for them to become acquainted with everyone in the team. But we have always believed in communication and that is what we practised with each other. From one-on-one introductory calls to frequent townhalls, we ensure to make the new members a part of the family.
Starting A Productive Day
So, how do you start your day? Mindless social media scrolling? Well, for our team members, the very first thing is to see our faces in tiny boxes on laptops. 9:45 am on the clock, and our faces have to be on the screen. No, these calls are not just for attendance; we are past that concept now. These calls are just to make our team members feel that we are all together in these times. Talking about our health and folks gives us a sense of togetherness even from a distance.
Our in-store team gets together on call every day and talk about their respective healths and be in touch. Knowing that the stores are currently closed, the team is also able to focus on their training and share their knowledge in various aspects such as products, fits, merchandise, etc.
Creating Shared Experiences
It is easy to share stories when we share desks and rows at the office. But what to do when some of us are not even in the same city? How do we create connectivity among one another? Our team has been picking up one activity each week, and we come together and do the same thing and have conversations around it.
Whether it is about reading a book, planting a sapling or gardening, exercising at our desks, we indulge in such little activities and make our week better. Having conversations about such self-care activities have made our team stronger than ever, and we feel happy to be taking care of our physical and mental health during such difficult times.
Accomplishing To-Do Lists
This call is our favourite part of the day. Our team comes together to discuss their to-do list, and this has made our days more defined. Before we start working, we know what is on our plate and how much time we have for a specific task.
Every team has its own ways of managing. When we talk about our Brand Team, they have been hands-on with their duties. With dynamic responsibilities, they need a thorough to-do list and they prepare that on a work planning tool. The Jewellery Team has also started working on this platform and it has helped them function effortlessly. The product team at FS makes their lists well in advance. From morning calls to evening checklist, they do it all. Other than that, the team members believe in maintaining transparency and constant communication helps them achieve that.
Saying It Out Loud: TGIF!
When they said work hard and party harder, we wanted this to apply to our remote work as well. With all the hard work we put in throughout the week, we wanted to enter the weekend on a high note. That’s exactly what our Fridays do for us.
Getting together on a zoom call to play games and know each other’s secrets, that’s what we have been doing at FableStreet. Two people from the team come together and organize a game for the others to enjoy. So, there are new hosts in every Friday meet.
As soon as the clock hits 6 pm, we all stop working, let go of our stress, and play the games our team members plan for us. There’s just one rule to this Friday ritual. We all come there with a disclaimer: No one will discuss work. That is all about it, and everyone is more excited to work on Friday.
We wouldn’t say that we have aced our remote working skills, but we know our team is working hard to get through this phase. What are your ways of connecting with your teammates while you can’t get hold of them in your workspace?
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