Businesses around the globe are closing their offices and having their staff members work from home due to restrictions and concerns surrounding the Coronavirus. This has forced managers and employees to implement new processes to keep communication and productivity levels high as the business transitions to remote work due to the novel requirements of the Coronavirus.
Having staff members work from home is a sensible and practical way to help contain the outbreak, but it can be a difficult transition for companies that are not used to this way of working. This article will explore practical ways to smooth this transition and to keep your business going while working from home.
Prioritise Clear Communication
The most important aspect to successful remote working is clear and open communication. Make all your expectations of as clear as possible regarding work hours, availability, communication systems, meetings, deadlines, and response time. Schedule regular group and one-to-one meetings to keep constant communication and to help ensure everything is progressing effectively. Virtual meetings are also a great way to maintain relationships and make everyone feel a part of a team.
A great way to help foster good communication is to provide several different communication technology options for your team to use, as email alone can oftentimes be insufficient. Remote workers can benefit from having richer communication options, such as video conferencing, which opens participants to the many visual cues that they would normally have if they were face-to-face and it feels more personal and natural than written or audio communication.
Consider Task-Management Software And Streamlining Processes
A personalised software program can make it much easier for colleagues to communicate and collaborate with each other and track each other’s progress for multiperson projects. Having a software system that can join the dots between data, process, and business outcomes are highly beneficial so that you can focus on making decisions that will grow your business. Your remote team work culture has a higher chance of flourishing when everything is under one roof. Having this simplicity helps to entirely streamline processes and communication while providing structure and direction for completing tasks and goals.
Lead With Empathy
The level of morale amongst your staff will highly impact the work they produce and their communication levels. It is important for managers to acknowledge stress, listen to any of their employees’ anxieties and concerns, and to empathize with their struggles.
This is especially true in the context of an abrupt shift to remote work, such as experienced during the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic. Research on emotional intelligence and contagion has revealed how employees will look to managers for cues on how to react to crisis situations. Notions of stress or helplessness expressed by a manager has the potential to have a “trickle-down” effect to employees. It is therefore important for leaders to both acknowledge the stress/anxiety of their employees during these difficult and new circumstances, but also providing affirmation of their confidence in their teams. With this type of support, employees will be more likely to take up challenges with a sense of purpose and focus.
Virtually Have Fun And Socialize
During remote working, we are unable to interact with our coworkers in person but that shouldn’t mean that team bonding has to take a back seat. Video conferencing technology is a valuable resource for maintaining healthy relationships and camaraderie amongst your team during this difficult time apart.
The natural human interaction we have in an office environment can often be taken for granted, but trying to maintain that social component is crucial for your mental health and success in a remote working environment. Research has shown that isolation and loneliness in humans can cause anxiety and depression, and this needs to be avoided at all costs. Consider a fun weekly video call activity with your team, such as a virtual happy hour, to keep spirits and connections high.
The way we all work and think about work has changed significantly in a very short period of time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And until the coronavirus is under control, the benefits of remote work outweigh any inconvenience. Making small, thoughtful changes can help your team stay engaged, feel supported, and be motivated to keep doing great work during this time. And as long as this transition is handled correctly, remote working can be just as productive as ever.
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