If navigating the pandemic as a remote leader is proving difficult for you and your company, you're not alone. Going entirely remote has impacted workflow in more ways than intended, according to several CEOs.
Let's look at some of the usual obstacles of working remotely and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on daily life. We'll also look at some critical techniques to keep your employees productive so that your company can stay competitive even in this unpredictable economy.
According to many studies, employers have a significant role to play in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Non-essential staff is now working from home for the majority of us. Employees are understandably concerned about these changes.
Employers must be aware of the stress that their employees are experiencing. COVID-19's proliferation has taken a toll on employee mental health across America, according to CNBC's Workforce Wire. Employees are experiencing stress, anxiety, loneliness, and terror as a result of the abrupt changes in everyday operations. This is projected to hurt productivity in numerous businesses in the coming weeks.
Furthermore, according to the New York Times, many individuals around the world believe that the pandemic has caused them more fear than terrorist acts. Employees anticipate getting laid off as a result of pandemic-related interruptions, with 40.6 percent anticipating hardship in the next six to twelve months. Many people feel helpless as if their only option is to wait and hope that things will turn out okay in the end.
It's critical to anticipate that your employees may have special demands that must be met in order for your company to remain productive. When dealing with employees, be sympathetic. They are more inclined to continue being productive if they feel heard and valued.
Consider these six suggestions for improving remote team productivity and communication if you're in charge of a remote team.
Time management and teamwork are aided by working in the same physical place. Emails and phone calls may be sufficient to keep everyone connected and on target when everyone is in the same area. However, when your team is dispersed over various sites, your communication and project management practices must be more deliberate.
Consider implementing an online collaboration platform to keep all of your projects and teams in sync. Instead of searching down numerous emails or messages across several platforms, you can measure progress, connect with your teams, set objectives and deadlines, and answer queries all in one location.
Keep a check without being too controlling
It's more difficult to track your team's progress when they operate remotely because you don't see them as often. You may be tempted to check in more frequently or provide more comprehensive directions when working remotely. While this can be beneficial, it's also crucial to figure out how to manage your team's growth without micromanaging them. Checking in with your team on a daily basis can be an easy method to keep track of their work, set goals, and provide feedback as needed.
Keep in mind that your team members operate in a variety of settings, making it easier for them to forget about your company's culture. Leaders should work hard to keep the company's culture, goals, and values in the public eye. Employees are far more likely to be more engaged in their work if they feel connected to a larger cause.
Be flexible and patient
Working remotely might take some getting used to, especially if you're used to working in an office or at a specific on-site location. It will take some getting used to conducting meetings electronically, adopting new technology, and learning to strike a work-life balance. As a result, patience and flexibility are essential for maintaining corporate morale and enhancing production.
Accept new methods and procedures with an open mind and a willingness to try new things.
It is likely to take some time for your staff to settle into a routine. Make it clear to your staff that this new work model is a new adventure for everyone and that your understanding will aid their speedy adaptation.
Make sure your staff receives all essential training for any new technologies they will use to collaborate remotely.
Remove any distracting figures
This one can be challenging, but it's not impossible. When working from home, family members, domestic tasks, email and instant messaging, phone calls, and social media are all regular distractions. Recognize which of these has the greatest impact on you, and then devise strategies to reduce their impact during the workday.
For instance, you can ask family members not to phone you during work hours unless there's an emergency. You can also only check your emails and texts at specific times throughout the day. Because everyone is different, be patient while you search for the ideal strategy for you and your scenario.
Streamline and restructure
You might need to spend some time changing your present processes and procedures if your staff is working remotely for the first time. When working remotely, methods that work in the office may not be appropriate. Get feedback from your team on how you might streamline and rearrange some of your present tasks to better fit this new work style.
For your remote staff, reorganizing the workday may make more sense. Client phone calls, for example, may be moved to the afternoon, or your regular lunchtime meetings could be relocated earlier in the day. Being willing to restructure your day will boost your productivity and allow you to get more done in less time.
Make the most out of mornings
If you and your team are new to working from home, it may be tempting to ease up on your routine. However, making the most of your mornings can help your team become more productive. As a team leader, it's critical to make the most of your early time in order to prepare for a productive day.
Even if you aren't going to work, getting up at the same time every day sets you up for a great day and allows you to get a head start. Encourage your employees to make the most of their mornings. This can be accomplished by holding a morning check-in meeting or forcing your team to submit their daily goals and plans before 9 a.m. If you have a productive start, the remainder of your day will be as well.