The global pandemic surrounding the unprecedented outbreak of the novel coronavirus has put several regions around the world in a perpetual lockdown with containment zones and isolation units treating the patients and suspects infected with the Covid-19.
The outbreak of the virus and the fears surrounding its consequences have impacted businesses around the globe. Business leaders believe that now it is time to send the entire workforce remote to stop the outbreak, and provide facilities and required hardware so that they may be able to work safely from the secure confinements of their homes – thereby leading the entire workforce to be part of the world’s largest work-from-home experiment.
Businesses around the globe have frowned at how the noble coronavirus has locked down cities and regions. And to safeguard their workforce from facing the hazardous effects of the Covid-19, companies across the world have issued work from home to their teammates and workers.
Let us now understand how we can keep our remote workforces productive and connected throughout this deluge.
Individualizing the Workforce Engagement
The year has just begun, and things don’t seem very happy and prosperous. And with the virus outbreak, everyone is concerned as to how things would turn up in the days to come. Your workforce is just as scared and apprehensive as you or me.
In such a situation, it is very important that you talk to your workers and understand their concerns – even if they are not in front of you. Remote managing may be easier for you as a manager if you have previously invested time and effort in understanding your workers and their psyche. After going remote, some workers may feel liberated while some may sulk feeling isolated. It is important for remote managers to first understand each member of the team, and then assign tasks individually. A one-size-fits-all strategy might not work well to engage your team.
Clear Instructions and Guidance
One by one every nation is locking down and as a result, more and more businesses are going remote. All of this is happening fast. And some of these workers are completely clueless and scared.
In such a situation, you must give a clear and understandable task sheet to your team. Without understanding your expectations that are aligned with the company’s purpose, it would be difficult for your workers to be productive.
Therefore, it is important now that you create a wonderful working relationship with your coworkers and juniors by exploring the digital tools that promise to help. This is the only way you can help your team achieve the expectations set for them.
The entire work from home scenario may be a completely new experience for certain workers, who may feel cut off from necessary resources and information. Therefore, it is the responsibility of remote managers to constantly chalk out plan and sit down with the team over a phone call, or even better, a video conference.
All over the world people are suffering due to the pandemic, the economy is dwindling, and everyone is in perpetual fear. Often at times, some of your teammates may feel very bogged down due to all these fears and apprehensions surrounding the virus outbreak. Also, there may be workers who are constantly driven by motivation through conversation. Therefore, you may need to add socializing in your work from home schedule and interact with your workers any one time of the day to keep them engaged and hence, more productive.
Besides, you should constantly keep mailing and posting about your expectations, intentions, and reasoning. Try keeping all the lines of communication between you and the team broad, open, and most importantly, honest.
Leading the Leaders
The sudden change in business practice and process surely impacts all levels of managers. It is to be remembered that not all these managers have the requisite experience of handling remote workers. They will be concerned about distractions and disruptions to the workflow that they are accountable for. Some of them might not be sure whether they will be able to manage workers without being in front of them, some would be unsure about workers they are unable to see in front of them.
But at the end of the day, they will have to manage their staff in a new way, and that too fast.
As a business leader, it then becomes your task to constantly motivate them, emotionally and practically, during this rather tough transition. You will have to make your managers feel that they will always get the required support from you, especially when they feel insecure themselves.
Over to the Future
According to a study, 43% of employees in the US work remotely and that remote workers are far more productive than in-house employees. The stats hint at the fact that at this juncture telework will be a blessing for you. You will need to learn fast and adapt quickly so that you may start witnessing levels of performance from certain employees that nobody ever thought before.
Reports claim that between the years 2012 and 2016, the number of remote workers grew by four percentage points.
Organizations have already begun putting remote work policies in place – primarily in the real estate, insurance, and finance industries. The percentage is increasing each day, companies will be required to proactively take part in this journey to create the digital workplace of tomorrow.