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Enhancing team motivation during 'Work from home' days due to COVID - 19

Sajit Nair Community Leader Mar 17, 2020

As Agile enablers/Scrum Masters or POs, how do you get the juices flowing for your team to share the same energy level they do when they are co-located ?

In the past, one/two people will work from home so it wouldn't be a issue but now when all 10-12 member team work remotely, how do you manage the same ?

Any tips/tricks would be appreciated.

10 comments

Agile regular practice mostly self responsible team members. And we have standup meeting to get update on the story they have working. Only concern is are the working as per the requirement because it will be impediment later.

So just focus on the team with regular update on their stories or the project other than standup. 

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Daily checkins with everyone via video conference if possible - it keeps the team motivated and present 

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I think making sure that you keep in touch with everyone, letting them know that you are positive, is important.  Maintaining normal communications and enhancing them with more messages, and letting them know when they are doing well is so important for morale.

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We are also using upbeat photos like spring flowers, cute animals, and simple visual puzzles to help break things up a bit.

Trying to replicate and establish routines we would have had in the office not always 100% related to work, but related to connecting with your teammates. Like morning conversations, comparing lunches, impromptu demos of work completed, etc. 

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We do video as much as possible to see each other's faces. Once in a while, either in the morning, or end of day, we have a "tea time" to just see how everyone is doing. 

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Be positive, take the role model role, video chat as much as possible, communicate as transparent as possible, clarity on vision, responsibilities and expectations, integrate non-work parts in your digital work to bond and under no circumstances punish this behaviour.

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Keep the team feeling like a team by having fun and laughing.   It'll ease stress.  Start meetings with a work appropriate Dad joke.   

If you're using a tool like Zoom, you can set your backgrounds.  Our team has fun with that and enjoys looking at each others background choices (castle, woods, famous living rooms etc) 

What I miss a bit in the platforms we now have is a feature present in the good old IRC channels. You could instantly see, who is there (logged-in) and who is online (active) or idle (away from keyboard). This would be a great feedback when working remote.

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Few things which we follow within our team

1. Start the day with standup meeting via video call

2. Throughout the day stay connected in group chat

3. Raise blockers in chat  the moment you face it

4. Use the group chat for all common questions and information. Avoid 1:1 conversations  unless it is specific to a work item

5. Make sure to not go offline without any intimation

6.  Share work from home pics in the chat to make the mood lighter

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In addition to what has already been shared,  perhaps also consider not disrupting disruption -- that is to say...

When a bunch of upheaval and sudden change is already thrust upon a team it would aid to contribute to stability, confidence and motivation to not over-burden those new to the remote work model with excessive inputs.

Instead, consider using the switched model to develop a survey and begin planning on ways to learn from the team it self, rather than dictate or inundate with too many tools, suggestions or '10 ways to optimise WFH routine" type spamming.

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