With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, managing remote employees needs a mental leap, especially if you are a traditionally-minded manager. At first, you used to monitor your employees’ productivity based on employees’ “desk time” and other visible activity levels. Thus, you may find the shift to remote work unwieldy and foreign. Correspondingly, your employees may feel out of place in the beginning as they adjust to their new changes. We recognize that it might be challenging to adapt to the new normal, and thus, we have a list of seven ways you can help your workers while working remotely.
1. Ensure Your Employees Have the Right Tools
One of the most remarkable ways to help your employees succeed while working from home is to provide them with the right tools to help them stay productive and connected. For instance, without enough webcams, most likely, your workers will not be able to attend online meetings. Also, without practical Cloud Migration tools, your employees will not be able to move data from one source platform to the other.
Equipping your workers with the right tools helps ensure that all team members will remain on the same page regardless of their physical working locations. These new tools might also help keep your employees more connected and productive after COVID-19 fears reduce and people return to work.
2. Have Daily Check-ins
Since you can no longer get daily face time with your workers, establishing a daily check-in routine is a great way to foster connections and set priorities. A morning check-in through phone calls, video chats, or instant messages can help establish a sense of normalcy. Besides, they offer you an opportunity to address any problems before they hinder projects and ensure all your workers are working towards common goals. Without regular check-ins, you risk projects getting derailed.
3. Offer Emotional Support
With reduced social interactions, remote working can result in loneliness, isolation, and negative emotions. Thus, you should endeavor to offer emotional support to all team members. Acknowledge stress, listen to your worker’s concerns and anxieties, and empathize with them. Set the tone for your virtual office with an upbeat and calm presence. Also, set online office hours and be present on messaging apps to stay in touch with your workers throughout the day.
Besides, encourage self-care among your team members by encouraging them to exercise daily, get enough sleep, take showers and lead a normal life as much as they can. Only emotionally stable employees can reach their full potential.
4. Set Clear Productivity Standards
Unlike remote workers, office-based employees can interact one-on-one. This serves to standardize productivity among them. Although you can run away from setting productivity standards in the office, this cannot work for remote employees. As everybody is scattered about, team members can get caught up in their tiny bubbles. Setting clear productivity standards will eliminate potential mistakes and ensure consistency. Some productivity standards will differ with the roles; others may be common across the organization.
5. Encourage Dedicated Workspaces
A dedicated workspace will free your employees from the typical distractions of home life. Lockdowns have forced many schools to close, making children stay at home. With this in mind, a separate workspace will help your employees to remain focused and stay on task. Consequently, your workers will stay productive and get a work-life balance.
6. Establish Communication Channels
Organized internal communication allows employees to delegate roles among themselves properly and makes them efficient. Thus, it’s vital to ensure everybody knows which communication channels to use and when to use them. For example, you can establish that employees will use instant messaging for time-sensitive requests and emails for team-wide announcements. By doing so, you will ensure everybody receives important messages in time.
7. Set Aside Specific Times for Team Interaction
Traditional workspaces foster teamwork and collegiality. For remote workers, it requires extra effort to recreate such collaboration and companionship. Thus, find opportunities to include everybody in team discussions and activities whenever possible. Establish a communication channel committed to non-work-related conversations to help your team members interact and connect as people, not just as colleagues.
COVID-19 has necessitated remote working, and this might be the case for months to come. Since you cannot tell when things will go back to normal, it’s essential to implement best practices early. Remote workers can be productive as in-office employees. With these tips, you can keep your team productive while working remotely.