Tips and Tricks for Managing Remote Work During a Crisis
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way companies are doing business overnight. It has left many organizations struggling to stay afloat and forced others to find solutions to enable their teams to work from home and to be productive doing it. Now that most have settled in to their new normal and embraced a remote workforce I wanted to offer some tips for managing remote work. If you’d like to share this content with your organization, feel free to download the infographic version.
Managing remote work is different during a crisis and has its own challenges. Success will come from working closely with your team. Here are some tips to help you …
1. Make Accommodations
There are distractions, kids, spouses and pets at home while employees are trying to work. Allow time for your staff to figure out a plan. It could take two weeks to get their families into a routine. Be empathetic, they’ll have to feed the kids and may not be able to easily take lunch on their previous schedule.
2. Be Understanding, Productivity May Decline
Working conditions are not the same as the office or even in previous remote work situations. Monitors, keyboards, chairs, desks, noise etc. all play a role in productivity. Remember that many distractions cannot be avoided. Monitor productivity closely and work with staff regularly to continuously improve.
3. Overcome Video Shyness
The more you encourage video use, the more natural it becomes. Paranoid about not doing your hair or makeup? Dress for work from the top up. Embarrassed about a messy house? Sit in front of a blank wall or aim the camera up.
4. Prevent Staff From Feeling Lost or Forgotten
Give one on one attention, even if it is just a quick 5 minute check in each day. Acknowledge each person on a conference call or web call, everyone needs to hear a voice. Draw out engagement by actively asking staff to interact during a conversation.
5. Give Positive Feedback
Trust your team. When staff is away from the system, assume the best not the worst. Focus on improving productivity versus trying to understand the choices they are making with their time. Give regular feedback on performance and remote communication. Recognize their effort to make remote work successful.
6. Use Team Communication Tools Constantly
Update your status, even when you take a bio break. Staff can’t easily ask their neighbor for help, the next best thing is an IM group. Be responsive,
even if you need extra time to respond, let the team member you know when you will get to their question.
7. Offer Training and Support
Your staff is juggling many new things at once. Check in with them one-on-one to address challenges. Adoption of new remote procedures, new systems and the new environment may take longer than you expect.
8. Avoid Overtime if Possible
Encourage staff to sign off timely, they typically need more downtime in crisis environments. Managing remote work is different during a crisis and has its own challenges.
Implementing a few of these easy tips should help you in managing remote work as your staff adjusts. If you’re looking for assistance in choosing tools or implementing technologies, EDCi is here to help, just give us a call!