Will they carry on but in a different way? Or will they completely cease to exist? We hope not, but we have some suggestions in the meantime. 

This past Friday, PL Projects held our usual company-wide end of the month meeting over GoTo Meeting instead of meeting in person at Elsie Whiteley HQ. This is because, as we all know, currently we have been advised by the Government to only leave our houses in certain situations, to help slow the spread of the virus. So for now, the PLP team are busy working away from our own homes.

Like many organisations in the UK, and around the world, remote working is becoming the new normality for PL Projects. For us, that is not completely out of the norm. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the PL Projects team were advised to work from home when not needed at the client site or at HQ. But when we were not working from home, you could usually find us supporting our clients’ project requirements side by side at their offices’ locations.

Now that we are supporting our clients from afar, the business leaders thought it was important to still hold our end of the month meeting, but over webcam!  The topic was about how as a collective we can develop new and current communication and value adding techniques that will contribute to the changing project management landscape.

During the online company-wide discussion, several great points were brought up about what types of communication takes place during face to face discussions as opposed to now having the same over tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime, GoToMeetings, emails, texting and telephone calls. A topic that was brought up was how to have “corridor conversations”, you know the conversations you have with colleagues while you pass them in the corridor. The PL Projects team developed a list of suggestions that don’t necessarily replicate a conversation with an employee in the corridor, but these suggestions are good replacers.

  1. Virtual coffees
    1. Meet up with a group of colleagues over a webcam while having a cup of coffee! you could even order some special treats to each other’s houses to share over your delicious brews! YUM.
  2. Slack one another
    1. Many companies now communicate via slack. Slack is a great software tool used for instant communication, document library and most importantly meme sharing. Who doesn’t love a meme about how they are currently feeling?
  3. Virtual Round Table Discussion
    1. We are suggesting you could connect with colleagues by having a designated time slot for employees to join an open webcam call. For instance on Friday’s a leader from the Senior Management Team at PLP will be available between 14:00 – 16:00 over our company’s GoTo Meeting system and employees are encouraged to join the call whenever they would like and bring up topics or questions that need answering either by that senior management leader or by other colleagues who are joining the call. This is to simulate meetings in the office!
  4. FaceTime Lunch!
    1. Miss meeting up with your colleagues for your usual lunch break? Have it over Facetime! You could swap recipes, share new ideas or discuss what you have been up to while staying at home.

Are you sensing a theme yet? If so, you are correct – being online is the way communication needs to take place moving forward and this is just a small list of ideas PL Projects team is going to initiate to enhance communication and add value to our work whilst #workingfromhome. Maybe we won’t be able to achieve the exact situation as you would while bumping into your colleagues in the office corridor or grabbing a coffee in the HQ café, but you have to keep up strong communication processes going in your business – but the processes can also be fun!