The current pandemic has created issues for nearly everyone worldwide, but especially employees who suddenly found themselves working from home. As a manager or project leader, it often falls to you to manage your employees or coworkers in a way that is both motivating and leads to overall successful completion of projects.
Here are some useful tips on successfully managing remote employees amid the pandemic.
4 Tips for Managing Remote Employees
Dealing with employees during the pandemic is a bit challenging. In this case, you have to show some empathy and consider their home-working environment. Here are four tips that may help you better understand your employees and coworkers:
Maintain an Efficient Communication Means
Communication is key. Unfortunately, during a pandemic, you’re not able to cross the hall and talk with an employee, so communication will often have to utilize some method of online chat, either video conferences or instant messaging programs.
For starters, having a video conference with the employees once or twice a week ensures you stay in touch with them. If you have a small team, you can opt for individual Skype calls instead. Hearing the employees’ ideas and keeping them in the cycle is sure to improve their output.
Utilizing an online messaging system to help employees stay connected throughout the day and can also help keep morale up. It also is useful for answering smaller questions that may come up during the workday.
Don’t Spend All Day Working
The biggest problem with working from home is adjusting to work from home hours. When working from the comfort of your living room, it’s hard to abide by a regular 8-5 working schedule. When working from the comfort of your couch, it becomes easy to stay there all day without realizing it.
It’s essential to create a workday end for your employees. That way, you’ll avoid the burnout that may result from excessive working and not taking a break. Bear in mind that the employees will have to juggle between their work responsibilities and home responsibilities, which may take them some time to get used to. Stopping work at a certain time can help everyone complete their work in a consistently responsible way.
Use Efficient Tools for Assigning Tasks
The days of assigning tasks in a live meeting are long gone. Now, you can opt for modern tools that allow for creativity. For example, a lot of business owners use Slack to communicate with their employees during work.
There are many things to love about Slack, but the most prominent benefits are the engaging formats you can use to interact with your employees, such as GIFS. Besides, Slack makes it easier for the employees to access the information they need through channels, thereby reducing the productivity drain. Ultimately, finding a project management tool that works for your company and employees helps everyone complete projects in a timely manner.
If you’re not a fan of modern tools, you can opt for the traditional method: Emails. As long as your employees have their notifications on, you’ll be able to communicate anything you want through an email.
While it’s important to stay in contact with your employees, it’s equally important to not overwhelm them with information all day long. No working-from-home employee will appreciate their boss bombarding them with questions or information. Working from home surely affects the employees’ focus. They can be distracted by the simplest thing, such as their toddlers or even their cats. Help them stay focused by not constantly bombarding them with messages.
Will Employees Continue to Work From Home, or Will They Return to the Office Setting Once the Pandemic Is Over?
The vagueness of the pandemic situation is causing many to question the traditional work atmosphere. Remote employees wonder if they’ll have to spend the rest of their lives working from home, and the questioning is justified.
The pandemic isn’t over, and it’s hard to predict its end at this point. So, for now, companies working from home have no intention of returning to office—at least until the next year’s first quarter.
Whether the employees will return after the pandemic ends remains an unanswered question. A lot of companies have decided that remote work is actually more efficient, while some businesses have been severely affected by the lack of communication. So, it’s likely that some white-collar companies will choose to continue the same way.
That said, it’s nearly impossible to predict how this matter will turn out. Our lives probably won’t return to normal any time soon—working lives included.
While each work situation is unique and different, showing empathy and understanding for your employees can go a long way in better managing your remote workers.
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