To contain the spread of coronavirus most companies have switched to work from home policy. While for some workers working virtually is not as difficult because they’re used to working remotely. A recent statistic, it was shown that 43% of Americans work from home occasionally. But there is a big difference between working from home occasionally to doing so for an extended period (considering the current situation).
It is best to formulate a strategy that’ll help you manage your team working remotely in an effective manner. Working from home is not as difficult as you may think. It has its shares of advantages and challenges. It all depends on you how you handle both these aspects. Incorporate these 4 areas for greater success.
Your team needs the right direction and clarity about the expectations and responsibilities they have when working remotely. Some of the questions to address include – will team members need to adhere to specific office hours, what technology platforms or apps will you be using to stay connected, are there any norms that decide team decisions and collaborations, is there a provision of backup if someone needs to be away from their desk or wants to take a small break, etc.
Don’t assume implicit expectations of employees working from home; instead, let everyone know clearly what they need to do and how it needs to be done.
Communication is the key in this critical situation. Effective communication will foster trust and make the team members feel more valued. Unfortunately, interpersonal communication can go for a toss when you’re working from home. You don’t get to understand non-verbal cues like body language, eye contact, gestures, and hand movements. But to overcome this, you need to stay disciplined and rely on one-on-one conversations, team calls, video conferencing, etc.
Some of the main benefits of working remotely include – an increase in productivity, being autonomous and having complete control over your work, and better work-life balance. But all this comes at the cost of loneliness and isolation.
It is important for team leaders and managers to create enough opportunities for team members to bond. This can be done over conference calls or video calls. The idea is to maintain contact and have a virtual interaction. To ensure that the transition of work from home is a success, managers need to provide extra training.
When employees are working remotely, one thing that’s of prime importance is self-care. Adding to the challenges of isolation and loneliness, there can be a blurring of work time and personal time because work is always present. To get over this challenge, it is recommended that you have a dedicated workplace. Establish personal norms for yourself regarding taking breaks and how stringent you want to be on yourself. Building routines is also something that works great when working from home. Get dressed in a smart way and don’t keep lazing in your pajamas all day to increase your productivity.
The times are tough, and we need to be strong to come out victorious. Instead of cribbing, it is better to count your blessings and keep yourself engaged with work to keep the positive energy flowing and your mind distracted from all the looming negativity.