Working From Home - What's Working and What's Being Valued?

Working From Home - What's Working and What's Being Valued?

We all know what an upside-down year this has been for everyone. But how specifically has the pandemic affected workers at home? And what strategies are working for teams that we can all learn from?

This is a three-part snapshot of how people are feeling in the workplace, drawing on research that was conducted by Cultivate Agility and The Team Space in Australia between May-August 2020. It included leaders and team members.

So what did the survey tell us? Let’s start by looking at what does seem to be working and valued by teams.

Social connection came out on top. This included things like daily conversations that were not about work and increased sharing of personal feelings. Put simply, teams became closer, and the effort made to keep teams connected was noticed and valued. Leaders spent more time listening, collaborating and consulting with their teams. 

Communication as a whole improved, with various technology platforms like Zoom and MS Teams were used as never before, and in new ways. Other platforms included collaborative tools like Trello to help manage projects, and WhatsApp and Slack to stay connected. 

The open communication around mental health and wellbeing also showed the human side to leadership. Team members were being asked more directly about their wellbeing, and leaders showed their own vulnerability to staff. Discussion around it being “ok to not be ok” made teams feel connected and in it together, creating caring cultures where people felt safe. 

Keen to know more? Check out the ideas and tips that came from the survey participants about what worked for them below.


The Impact of Covid-19 on Teams  - Findings from a research project by Andrew Williams and Kammeron Chan

Social Connection

  • Replicate informal interactions
  • Inject humor humor regularly
    • Games, trivia
    • Blacktie meetings
  • Cocktail hour
  • Food Chat' - a dedicated communication channel around food (or any topic of common interest)
  • Team pilates or yoga 


  • Show genuine care and concern
  • Ask for feedback on your virtual communication style
  • Lead by example when it comes to flexibility
  • Empower team members to run meetings and take ownership/responsibility/try new things

Communication and Transparency, including Technology

  • Increase formalised communication 
  • Access online collaboration tools such as Trello, Jira and to manage collaboration on projects and prioritsation
  • Virtual "walk by your desk" chats - send an invite ten minutes in advance
  • Use communication tools such as WhatsApp and Slack

Increased Focus on Mental Health & Wellbeing

  • Create a customer experience role that is KPI'd on staff wellbeing as well as client satisfaction
  • Spontaneous phone calls to check-in (old school)
  • Activities promoting laughter
  • Walking one-on-ones
  • Mandated shorter meetings an company-wide meeting-free times (around the time that homeschooling starts and lunchbreaks)

General Advice Warning

The information provided is to be regarded as general advice. Whilst we may have collected risk information, your personal objectives, needs or financial situations were not taken into account when preparing this information. We recommend that you consider the suitability of this general advice, in respect of your objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on it. You should obtain and consider the relevant product disclosure statement before making any decision to purchase this financial product.

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