For many office going people, ‘Working from Home” previously might have sounded very interesting and easier to manage as compared to working from home.
However, this option becomes quite mundane and frustrating when done for a month or two. When the coronavirus pandemic started to pick its pace in the rest of the world after affecting thousands in China, many countries started coronavirus quarantine as a precautionary measure to control its spread.
Keeping the lockdown in sight, many companies started giving employees the “Work from Home” option as a measure to practice social distancing and safeguard the health of the employees.
Nevertheless, for many employees, it was not an easy option and productivity declined since they were not used to this routine. A major part of working from an office is the social element that keeps many employees going throughout the day; which is not available when done from home.
In such situations, it is imperative that companies actively engage their employees and help them in maintaining focus throughout the day, and perhaps till the situation returns to normal. With business going in losses, it is not practical to make things worse for the employees than it already is.
We are aware that it is a challenge to manage yourself during quarantine and to add to this you need to manage your team as well in this situation which is daunting as you have never done this before. For this purpose, the following are some tips that will help you in addressing your remote workers effectively and make them more productive:
Initiate a video chat culture:
You need to deploy a strong enterprise collaboration software in these times that will help your employees to communicate easily with everyone. Form a video chat group with your teams and talk to them in the morning and in the evening. This will help your employees to feel less lonely since employees don’t have the option to opt for water cooler conversations or take a break for coffee/tea when working from home.
You can also encourage your employees to take a break every few hours for coffee or tea and even hangout virtually through video conferencing with their colleagues just so that they can get the motivation to go forward with the day.
Conduct face to face meetings or phone calls rather than just sending emails or texts, as it will help the employees in being positive towards the situation and being more engaging.
Look out for your employees’ mental well-being:
With the news of people suffering from this pandemic, it is possible that employees might get scared which can affect their mental health. Moreover, with so many people getting laid-off and fired employees might be under pressure regarding job security which can affect their mental well-being which will affect their productivity at work.
To look out for their mental well-being, it is recommended that you practice positivity and encourage them to do the same.
For example, DroidOwl advice its employees to set a proper morning routine, getting good night’s sleep, decide a place in their home where they will work from on daily basis and is isolated and noise-free since e.g. working from a kitchen table is not the best option as it is the apex of disturbance and movement in every house.
Conduct virtual workout sessions:
While you look for the employees’ mental health, it is important to encourage remote employees to stay active and fit during this crisis. Since becoming a couch potato will make them lazy and depressed and they will indulge in negative thinking which any business cannot afford at this moment.
Encourage your managers to conduct a virtual workout session before the office starts. This will help in setting their routine, being energetic throughout the day, and think positive towards the situation. Also, it will help you to maintain the connection with your team that you had when you all worked from the office.
Easing your expectations with your team:
You need to ease up your expectations with your team since employees are not working together physically and such a situation is not easy for everyone. You need to let go of how things will get done by allowing them to take their decisions and be responsible for their actions. You need to focus on results and offer more flexibility than you previously did.
Don’t check-in frequently and micromanage them. Trust your employees and if any employee fails to act responsibly then take the action accordingly. Business owners and HR executives need to understand that this will create goodwill for your business and will help in making it increase.
Host a virtual happy hour:
Develop a culture of a virtual happy hour for your employees at the end of the week. The purpose of these happy hours will be to let employees enjoy themselves virtually by casually interacting with each other like they used to do during lunches.
Since they can’t meet anywhere outside hence this will help them in creating a sense of normalcy during these crises. You can share the client stories at this time and tell them what is happening in the industry and how others are coping with this crisis.
Since the quarantine has prolonged for over a month and a half, there is a possibility that employees might get bored of doing the same thing in the same routine. You can encourage them to enroll in an e-learning program that will be beneficial for the employee and the organization as well.
Or if they are already perusing a postgraduate degree you can offer dissertation help if they need for their assistance. You can share your knowledge if it’s your area of expertise.
Recognize your employees’ milestones:
It is important to recognize your employees’ achievement in a project like if they completed a goal or finished a huge project like innovation in the existing business process, achieved an excellent customer experience target or brought something out of the box on the social media that propagated a positive image of your brand.
You can simply conduct it via a virtual team event for an hour and explain the achievement.
Since now you are doing project management from home you must introduce it correctly to your team, conduct clear journey mapping of the project and track it by using any of the software that is available for Project Time track purposes. This will assist you to a great extent to manage your teams without having any delays or problems.
In these times when companies are unaware of what’s coming next or how long will the employees be working from home during quarantine, it is advisable for business owners and HR executives to create a strong communication culture where employees can talk freely and openly and also trust the management. These measures will surely make your employees happy, motivated, and productive towards the business.