This job aid provides tips to help public servants work effectively in a virtual team during an emergency situation.
To help slow the spread of COVID-19, many federal public servants are now working from home, some for the first time. Here are a few tips to help.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
- Find the right communication tools to make up for the loss of face-to-face time.
- Communicate frequently using a variety of channels, like phone and email.
- Respond quickly to email requests if you can, if only to specify a time you will be able to respond more fully.
- Find a way to interact informally through virtual water cooler or coffee chats.
- Check in and inquire about other members of the team on a regular basis.
Stay motivated and organized
- The nature of remote work requires self-management. Self-motivation and self-discipline are essential for team members.
- Stay organized. Have a plan for the day, but be prepared to pivot!
- Manage your time efficiently and keep your team up to date on important deadlines.
- Define your working hours, and respect your start and finish times.
Honesty and trust
- Honesty is possibly the most important way to promote trust. Trusting other team members makes the team more effective.
- You are not alone! Don't be afraid to ask for help from your team leader or team members.
Support your team
- Help each other be right.
- Share your ideas and expertise.
- Work together with a sense of energy and team spirit.
- Prioritize getting along with your team members. Foster a climate of respect in which members feel safe to explore new ideas.
- Recognize a job well done.
Care for yourself and others
- Try not to work longer than your regular working hours—others you care for also depend on you.
- Get some rest, eat a balanced diet and use your communication devices to continue to stay in touch with others.
- Lead with kindness.
- Be proactive.
- Seek solutions.
- Offer to help.
We thank the Public Health Agency of Canada for sharing much of this advice.
For more information: canada.ca/coronavirus