From sporting events to conferences, the COVID-19 virus has disrupted life as we know it in a way unseen in over a generation. And these disruptions have carried over into business as well. With an overwhelming desire to keep our employees and their families safe, most offices are shuttered and workers across the country are utilizing technology to work from home. If you’re a manager at your company, this is a completely new concept that brings its own unique set of challenges. Here are some tips to effectively manage your remote team through this crisis.
Let Them Know You Are There for Them
These are scary times filled with uncertainty. Talk to each employee as a human being first. Each individual will have their own unique fears and challenges. Let them articulate these to you and let them know you hear them. If their children are out of school, let them know it’s OK to make time (and maybe some extra time) for having breakfast and lunch with their families or to take a walk to get out of the house. If they are scared or frustrated, let them get their feelings out.
Think of all the touchpoints you have with your team during a traditional day in the office. At their desk, in the break room, filling up at the water cooler, a quick conversation in the hallway. Effective managers of remote teams replicate these touchpoints. Utilize GChat, Slack, or text messages to check in throughout the day. For your more extroverted employees, pick up the phone and let them talk.
Business as Kind-of-Usual
These times are unprecedented. But remote work isn’t much different than office work. Make things seem as usual as you can. Go forward with planned training, reviews, one-on-ones, and check-ins. In times of great uncertainty, your employees will be looking to you to provide some sense of normalcy and routine.
When the Smoke Clears …
If your staff didn’t work from home before, they are going to want to work from home at least some of the time after enjoying the benefits of remote work. It offers more flexibility for family time, errands, and working out. And when managed right, you’ll realize (as will your employees) that everything is in place to allow them to spend more time outside of the office. Be ready for this conversation and, if it works for your business, offer a more flexible office/remote work schedule.
One of the benefits of today’s technology is that it can help keep your teams connected even when they aren’t in the same physical location. This is especially important when it comes to collaborating and communicating across teams. Tools like the numerous cloud integration solutions Salesforce offers – and Ad Victoriam consultants can help you integrate – don’t replace face-to-face communication but they can develop a structure for staying engaged even as your workforce works remotely from home.
So, during these uncertain times, Ad Victoriam encourages you to not stop moving your business forward, because we aren’t, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.
The AdVic team hopes you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy.