Maintaining the Magic of Communication in Lockdown

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The lines between work and home have never been more blurred (quite literally, if you’re having webcam issues!). But one of the dangers of WFH is the constant need to feel productive and efficient at all times. Yet for many reasons (…not least mental health), the importance of time to connect and collaborate with those you work with has never been more important.

You can’t beat the power of teamwork and collaboration, so here are our tips and tricks for maintaining the magic of collaboration through lockdown 3.0. None of the below is revolutionary, but some of it just might make a difference to your day, and inspire and nurture others around you.

  1. It’s good to talk
  2. Honesty is the best policy
  3. Make time
  4. Give thanks
  5. Prioritise relationships

1. It’s good to talk

Long gone are the days of ‘water-cooler’ chats to keep conversations and ideas ticking over, as working from home brings challenges to communication. The questions that could normally be resolved over a quick cuppa in the office now have to be written out in full, proof-read and sent via email. Rather than emailing back and forth, ask yourself – would it be better to have a quick call or video meeting?  Build and maintain stronger relationships, reduce the chances of things being lost in translation, uncover hidden issues or opportunities, and it’ll feel less like ‘work’. And you might be surprised – it might even save you time!

Moreish magic tip: Before you compose that email, ask yourself, would a chat be better?

2. “Now, be honest with me…”

For many, communicating with employees and suppliers has become more honest. In many cases, when people now ask “how are you?” a more truthful answer is given. Had an experience with a crazy delivery driver this morning? We had a similar encounter last week! Noisy neighbours? We tell our own stories from the party-centric flat that lived above us at uni. Business meetings – while they still get the job done – are carried out on a more personal level now and are led with care and understanding (and maybe a quick introduction to your 6 year old doing her homework!).

At Moreish, we have close relationships with our clients, and we think that this helps us add value to our work. The power of a chat should never be underestimated, and it’s usually small snippets of detail in an open conversation that bring unexpected insights and ideas. Often, knowing some wider context about changes in the business as a whole can inform a project and ensure that the deliverables fit in with a brand’s vision for the future.

Moreish magic tip: Listen and be authentic. Nurture great relationships by being frank about your own situation and listening to others.

3. Take time to chew the fat before jumping onto the agenda

The power of a chat has the potential to be lost over Zoom. With no teas and coffees to pour and biscuits to hand out, it’s important to allow time for these conversations to happen. Naturally, when a working relationship is good, the work itself turns out better because of the trust between stakeholders, and is usually more fun! If the relationship is solid, more creative results can be achieved as team members have the confidence to suggest new ideas. So show off your pet on camera, tell everyone about the new air fryer you have, and keep the spirit of collaboration high.

Moreish magic tip: Have a chat and an informal open to video meetings to make sure everyone is relaxed and engaged – it’ll make for a more enjoyable and productive session afterwards.

4. Thank you! Cheers! Appreciate it!

A bit of small talk can go a long way. And so can a thank you! Appreciation and acknowledgement of good work makes sure that next time a group of people collaborate, they’ll be excited to get stuck in and deliver a great outcome. An energy company once reported that if Brits sent one less “thank you” email per day, 16,433 tonnes of carbon would be saved each year (a theory that was quickly disproved by the BBC, phew!). But it shows – people love to say thank you! The value of appreciation underscores a successful project and leaves everyone feeling united.

Moreish magic tip:  Thank team mates, managers, suppliers, clients, your flatmate/partner that makes the tea. A small gesture goes a long way, and creates a more collaborative and motivating working experience.

5. “She needs to sort out her priorities…” Weasley, R. (2001)

Of course, we couldn’t write about the magic of communication without mentioning Harry Potter! As Ron so eloquently tells us in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, priorities are important. In this case, value the power of relationships just as much as the specific job at hand. By building on these relationships and harvesting a more collaborative environment, work feels less transactional and will allow for innovative thinking beyond just what’s expected!

Moreish magic tip: Prioritise relationships and teamwork – it’s where the magic happens!

How are you managing to maintain collaboration and innovative thinking in these times? We’d love to hear.