The COVID 19 pandemic and the associated lockdown have forced organizations to adopt a remote working policy. Although remote working can be made highly productive with prior planning and a formulated work policy, the hard reality is that this time there was no time to prepare. It was an emergency transition of work from the regular office environment to the confinement of employees’ homes located across the world.
With distractions at home and the lack of face to face supervision, many organizations feel that employees tend to slack and deliver less while working from home. The social isolation, the lack of interaction, and exchange between team members that happened seamlessly in a regular office environment have taken a toll on the performance of employees who perform highly otherwise.
This is the time when employees need support from their managers and the organization, at large. Managers can implement quick changes in the remote work scene by following some simple steps.
- Encourage employees to create a home office environment.
It is natural for any person to get laid back in the comfort of one’s home. Managers can encourage employees to ensure a morning check-in via chat or video call to retain the normalcy. Remote working though gives you the freedom to work on your couch in your pajamas all day, it can have a drastic impact on your work. Dressing for work can be emphasized upon.
A dedicated workspace can also go a long way to make you feel at the office while being home.
Top-notch organizations are offering stipends to employees who have created dedicated workspaces, managed to dress eloquently, and check-in on time. This is the organization’s way to ensure consistent results, if not better.
- Provide emotional support.
This situation is as new to the employees as it is to the business. Loneliness, distractions at home with schools and daycares closed, lack of domestic help, and so on can put a lot of mental stress on the employees. Managers should ensure that virtual offices are less demanding while getting the work done through a subtle tone. Managers need to be available during check-in sessions and throughout the day on instant messaging apps for any guidance, the employees would need.
- Encourage team engagement.
Although usual team engagement activities like dining out or weekend sports may not be possible during these challenging times, it would be great for the team to interact with each other on matters other than work. A new hobby they picked up, a new dish they tried to cook, a new series they have been watching- anything could be the topic of discussion before or after the virtual office session to make them feel at ease and instill a sense of ‘ still belonging’ to the team.
- Equip the team with technological tools to enhance productivity.
People come first, technology comes next. Technology can be implemented to efficiently manage people, processes, and procedures within an organization.
It is critical to equip the team with tools that allow seamless interactions. There are project management tracking apps such as Asana and Airtable, chat and messaging apps such as Slack and Microsoft Teams, and video conferencing apps such as Zoom and Google Hangouts. There are all-inclusive project management software solutions offered by Basecamp and Monday.com where you find all these and more on a single platform that helps managers to track where things stand, and move forward in an orderly manner while keeping track of project budgets and deadlines.
The current scenario is one the business world didn’t see was coming. The key is to stay aligned with a healthy and organized workflow to adapt to this change.