And just like that, the world has changed. With the COVID19 virus raging around the globe, companies are compelled to do things differently.
There are numerous challenges businesses face when trying to organize and supply a workforce that is operating remotely. One of them is the nature of the virus, itself. With people who are positive for the virus, yet asymptomatic, it’s essential that we all do our part to flatten the curve.
Social distancing and quarantine measures are a challenge to everyone but companies like yours are navigating a world of unknowns and it’s rife with challenges.
If you’re reading, you’re probably facing some of those challenges now and wondering how to transcend them effectively. Let’s examine some of the more pressing ones.
When your people are engaged with their work from a remote location, leadership is essential. Many people during this pandemic are struggling with isolation and the ability to focus.
Checking in with your employees has never been more crucial. You’re not just checking in to ensure that they’re engaging with their duties. You’re checking in to ensure they’re not encountering difficulties in quarantine.
That’s especially true of workers who don’t usually work remotely. Unaccustomed, they may find the experience of working in isolation difficult. When you’re accustomed to a certain routine, leaving the house and all that goes with it, not following that routine can come as a shock.
But it’s the absence of social contact which can break many people’s resolve and that not only affects productivity, but the integrity of your company’s human resources. Optimism and mental health are taking a serious hit now, so leadership is essential.
Collaborating effectively demands quality communication, tailored to the demands of this crisis. Sensitive, mindful leadership is the source of that effective collaboration.
Settling them in
Employees who haven’t yet had the opportunity to work remotely are strangers in a strange land. So, part of your leadership offensive involves getting them settled into their new normal.
Talk to them about their home workspaces and how they can optimize them to encourage productivity and focus. A dedicated workspace that’s free of the detritus of daily life is a good start.
A workspace that’s set aside for that purpose includes an area free of the kids’ toys, dirty dishes and anything not essential to work. A home workspace means business, set apart from potential distractions and dedicated to getting the job done.
What do your employees need? Do they have the required equipment? Talk to them as part of encouraging home workspaces that work for them – and for your company. When possible, provide them with the equipment (laptop, phone, etc.) needed to work from home. Consider it an investment.
Another important factor is the ability of your employees to identify and resist the triggers that may derail productivity, when not recognized. Encourage this aspect of working remotely by providing your employees with resources to guide them.
Too much communication?
Your employees aren’t there to pull over on their way to the break room, so communicate. Communicate effusively and enthusiastically.
That communication is vital contact for your employees, letting them know that you’re there for them and staying on the trajectory you were following prior to quarantine.
Communication with remote workers isn’t necessarily about keeping tabs on what they’re doing. It’s more about keeping tabs on how they’re doing. Be intentional about regular communication. You can’t see their faces, but you can gauge employee engagement and possible roadblocks to it with smart communication.
Online outlets for communal conferencing abound. Find the one that works best for your operation and connect every day at an appointed hour. This serves as a lifeline to your employees and as a critical tool to maintain a level of professional normalcy.
Nothing is normal right now. Let your regular communication with employees be the antidote to that truth.
A friendly face out there
At a time when many of us are missing the closeness of family and friends, you are the friendly face that reassures your employees.
You’re a consistent presence from the time before COVID. And while you’re reminding your employees about the gravity of the situation, you’re keep it light and professional, finding remote avenues to fortify the bond you have with them.
CenterPoint Group is committed to providing our members with procurement support that changes the game. Contact us to discover our services.