Many companies have responded to the COVID 19 crisis by switching over to remote work. These new policies are taking the world by storm. More and more people are doing the most they can by working from home. However, having your employees get used to this type of work won’t be easy.
The article below can help you guide your remote workers properly, advising them on which issues to look out for, helping them maximize their efficiency and productivity while working from home.
Common issues when working remotely
Many managers are rightfully worried about face-to-face supervision when it comes to remote work. You might notice a decline in performance for employees who are usually on the top of their game. The most likely and clear culprit is a simple lack of supervision. Sadly, some employees simply don’t care enough to give their all without a manager looking over them. However, this doesn’t have to be a purely moral failing.
Sometimes, employees struggle with a lack of support, support, that they need when they are doing their job. This type of support is usually face-to-face interaction with their superiors. They might also feel isolated, distracted, or simply lack the motivation necessary to do their jobs.
There are also distractions at home that can provide a problem. This issue should be solved by the employees themselves, though. Still, you can advise them to work in remote rooms, give hard rules to their family members not to be disturbed.
Offer encouragement and emotional support
First things first – offer some encouragement and emotional support. We know this sounds all hippy-dippy, but there is a point to it. Namely, you want to motivate your employees, you want to get them out of the funk and actually have them get some work done.
Acknowledge the stress they might be suffering from, listen to the anxieties and concerns that your people might be facing. Simply asking how they are doing works wonders. Focus on the stress they’re feeling, let their concerns be heard.
Empathize with your people, make concessions, let people voice their concerns.
Getting a sense of belonging
People are going to feel isolated, and they might lose the team spirit they had before the outbreak. We suggest you get this under wraps trying to maintain communication and networking. Invest in proper and professional webcasting production services, and get people on board. Talk as much as you can, organize networking meetings, talk online, communicate effectively.
You will engender a sense of belonging by reminding people that you are all in this together and that they can always connect with somebody else in the company.
Establish daily check-ins
You can get great results with daily checking. This will remind people that they are, indeed, working for a specific office and that you do think about them. You can do this by having one on one calls, team calls, depending on the type of work from home job you are dealing with.
The most important part of this section is that these calls are regular and that they are predictable. They need to serve as a source of stability and as a foundation for your company and your team. This also allows them to plan their workdays better, to already have certain issues or questions ready for you before the call even starts. It also allows people to stick to their routines, since they will have an external “force” there to not allow them to slip up. Anybody who worked for a longer period of time as a freelancer, or simply worked from home with flexible hours, knows what we are talking about.
Provide communication technology options
Video conferencing, proper visual cues, face to face calls, anything that adds a bit of nuance and an extra dimension to the work will be sorely appreciated. It is more intimate, it sticks with people more. Calls like these are especially useful when you need to tackle a complex task.
One very important dimension for a video call would simply be explaining something over a computer. Since you don’t have the luxury of explaining how an excel spreadsheet is set up in person, you need to explain it over a call. However, this is exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to do over the phone. What you can do is, for example, share a screen over google hangouts. This is just one example. You might also prefer showing a PowerPoint presentation or working with a whiteboard.
Facilitate remote social interaction
Try to keep things a bit light as well. Have co-workers interact. Many people have actual close friends at work. We suggest you can do this in small and big ways. Big ways mean a conference call during lunchtime, just talking and having watercooler conversations. Small ways mean having a couple of minutes at the beginning and end of each call dedicated towards small talk, and conversations about their lives and plans.
Be very clear on the new rules
You need to set very clear expectations, deadlines, and quotas if you want to make the most out of your company in these times. The more specific you are, the easier things will be. Communication will fall become much harder, no matter how hard you work on avoiding this issue. For this reason, you need to take extra care when you set plans and tasks when you assign projects and deadlines.
The pandemic has hit us and hit us hard. Still, some companies are making do with remote work. Implement proper rules of engagement, try to get some social interaction setups, provide people with the right technology, and try to implement a kind of supervision. Plan accordingly, be thorough, and you should weather the pandemic with ease.