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COVID-19: Working Remotely – Tips for Team Members

This job aid provides tips to help public servants work effectively in a virtual team during an emergency situation.

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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


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