Organizational dynamics are unique to each company. They depend a lot on the type of business, the number of employees, the management style and, especially, the people in it. It is employees who bring life and transform companies. And it is mainly through collaboration and interactions among its members that organizational goals are achieved.

Studying these relationships vital to business performance was my motivation to pursue a master's degree at Lunds University in Sweden. But a year ago the pandemic arrived and everything changed. Organizations worldwide had to transform and adapt in no time to continue operating entirely in digital environments.

Organizations worldwide had to transform and adapt in no time to continue operating entirely in digital environments.

There I found my thesis topic: internal digital communication. If teamwork interactions are the ones that largely underpin the success of organizations, how are they being affected during the pandemic? How can work teams be supported so that their work flows in virtual contexts? Well, guided by academia and case studies, here are 5 tips that will help improve internal digital communication and that will optimize group work processes.

1. More is not always better

Be careful with the number of tools or apps your team implement. Employees are often overwhelmed by information overflow and it is difficult to keep track of all applications at the same time. If you submit information, request adjustments, and request updates via email, calls, chats, direct messages, job boards, and group meetings, it's natural that some of that communication gets lost. Keep it simple and be consistent.

2. Timing is key

Remote work allows each employee to manage their own work and personal life balance, but that can create synchronization problems between the parties involved in the development of a task. That is why it is essential that the deadlines of the plan are clear for the entire team. Some standard or routine meetings help coordination go more smoothly.

3. Rewards and gamification

Keeping employees motivated is critical, and technology can be used as a basis to encourage participation and creativity. By creating simple games that reward their team collaboration you can make them feel more connected with each other. This is especially important if there are new employees who haven’t meet face-to-face with the other coworkers.

4. Short and small meetings

Video calling has allowed us to bring people from all over the world together in one place. But that does not mean that all meetings should be massive. In fact, meetings are best kept short and in small groups, where everyone understands the purpose of the meeting and feels comfortable talking and being heard. Otherwise, you will have a very large audience that is disconnected from the central theme.

5. Digital but very human

If team members are not doing well in their personal lives, their performance is likely to suffer. Emotional, physical, and psychological well-being have been heavily impacted by social distancing restrictions. That is why it is so important to know the real status of employees and constantly take care of their health. It is necessary to go beyond “I hope this email finds you well”. Without spontaneous small talk, it may be important to create spaces or activities only focused on inquiring about personal well-being. Connecting with your employees digitally is challenging, but possible.

Extra tip!

How often do you ask your employees for their opinions? Perhaps these questions can be helpful to you, especially in times of pandemic.

Frågebatteri: Medarbetarupplevelse digital arbetsmiljö

ENG: To what extent do you feel that you and your colleagues understand each other when working from home? 
SV: Till vilken utsträckning känner du att du och dina kollegor förstår varandra när ni arbetar på distans? 

ENG: How do you perceive the connection between you and your colleagues when working from home?  
SV: Hur upplever du att kontakten mellan dig och dina kollegor är när ni arbetar hemifrån? 

ENG: How do you perceive the community and comradeship in your team when working from home? 
SV: Hur upplever du gemenskapen och sammanhållningen i teamet när ni arbetar hemifrån? 

ENG: How do you experience your time management skills when working from home? 
SV: Hur upplever du att din time-management förmåga är när du arbetar remote?  

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