By | Adrian Agawin
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected companies from all across the globe. To ensure the health of their employees, business owners from various industries have to cease or reduce their operations temporarily. However, some are fortunate enough to resume work by adjusting to a work-from-home setup.
As a leader, you may be wondering how you can effectively manage a remote team during a crisis such as COVID-19. Switching to remote management isn’t an easy task. Since working from home poses its own set of challenges, it’s likely that you’ll see inconsistencies when it comes to the performance of your employees.
To help your staff deliver optimal results even amid the pandemic, the guide below will discuss four actionable tips on how to keep your employees productive.
- Encourage Your Employees to Build a Dedicated Workspace
When done right, working from home can be very beneficial for both you and your employees. Many employers recognize the perks of telecommuting. Statistics show that the number of telecommuters in the United States has risen by 115% from 2005 to 2015. But, as good as working from home can be, giving your employees that work arrangement without the right approach can be counterproductive.
Since you aren’t there to oversee your employees, it’s easy for them to get distracted and do things that aren’t related to work. As they check up on emails and projects on their couches or bed and slowly feel the weight of their tasks, this may put them in a mood to binge-watch a show’s whole season on Netflix.
Always remember that spaces shape behavior. If you want to help your employees stay focused on their tasks, the first thing you should do is to encourage them to set a small area of their home for work. Not everyone may enjoy the luxury of having a personalized home office, but encouraging your employees to dedicate a space for work can help them put their best foot forward.
- Invest in the Right Communication and Productivity Tools
During this time of crisis, communication is incredibly vital to your success. Since you won’t be having face-to-face interactions with your colleagues and clients for a while, you will need to search for ways to discuss projects and other related concerns effectively. For convenient team communication, investing in the right programs and software will ensure that everyone stays on the same page.
For formal discussions, purchasing a video conferencing platform such as Zoom enables you to conduct meetings with your clients and even hold company-wide seminars for your employees. But, for your day-to-day communications, acquiring a messaging platform like Google Hangouts is suitable for casual engagements.
Once you’ve found the right communication platform, pairing them with a task management software and other kinds of productivity tools are guaranteed to boost your team’s performance.
- Stick to a Schedule
Many employees tend to lose track of time when working remotely. Since your workers are spending most of their waking hours cooped up inside their homes, some of them may fail to set boundaries between their personal and professional life. If your employees aren’t able to manage their hours accordingly, it will eventually lead to burnout.
To ensure that no one goes beyond regular working hours, you should advise your staff to stick to their old routine or build a new schedule. Even though their preferred way of doing work may not be under your full control, there are many things you can do to influence how they go about their day.
If your company has a flexible work arrangement, encouraging everyone to work at the same time can help everyone collaborate more efficiently. To help your team stay focused on projects, you should continue to conduct virtual meetings as often as needed. Apart from work-related activities, reminding them to set some time for exercise, reflection, and their families can also make a big difference.
- Double Down on Team Engagement
As a team lead, one of your biggest responsibilities during this pandemic is to make sure that everyone in your team feels valued and included. If you’ve just absorbed new members into your department, your newcomers are likely to be shy and will hesitate to ask the necessary questions to their seniors.
To counter this dilemma and improve collaboration amongst your staff, doubling down on team engagement is a must. Giving your employees a chance to bond hits two birds with one stone. Not only does it ease their stress, but it also allows them to know each other on a deeper level, which can lead to a better working relationship.
Since everyone is at the comfort of their own home, the things you can do are virtually limitless. With the right communication platform, you can have lunch with everyone and even conduct fun activities such as a quiz night.
Adrian works as the Marketing Lead for Asia Premier One Source. He has the creative mind to plan and implement multiple strategies for businesses. He expanded the company’s social media presence using digital marketing.