Tips for Managing your Remote Workforce during the COVID-19 Pandemic

For many of us, working from home during this pandemic is unfamiliar territory.  What used to be a luxury for some, has now become a necessity for most.  We are all facing new challenges such as working with small children, spouses, family members, etc. As hard as it is for your employees who are working from home, it is equally as challenging for the management teams who are now trying to figure out how to supervise their remote staff.

Here are a few things you can do to make this as positive of an experience as possible:

Be Flexible

Focus on outcome, not activity right now.  Keep in mind that your team has a lot going on such as a new work environment, new ‘Co-workers’, the possibility of getting sick or having to take care of sick family members, trying to stay on top of their children’s schoolwork, etc.  Keeping regular work hours might be tough for some employees during this time. Trust that your team will do the right thing and give them the freedom and flexibility to get work done on the schedule that helps them be the most productive.

Keep in Touch

Real-time video conferencing, workplace chats and more are now easily accessible and make it much easier for employees to stay in the loop no matter where they are. Making use of these communication channels allows higher quality, more productive interactions than are possible using just emails or phone calls. Confirm that your employees and different departments are holding regularly scheduled video conferences.  Companies who have allowed their staff to work remotely prior to the COVID-19 pandemic will obviously have an easier transition as they already have their processes in place.

Keep Morale High

Keeping morale high can be tough.  You can try encouraging your staff to send pictures of their new “co-workers” whether it be their pets or children! Exchange funny work-from-home fails. Continue to connect and share so that you and your employees do not fall into a quarantine slump!

Keep on Track

This may be challenging, but encourage your staff to have an adequate area for work.  Sprawling out across the couch with their laptop is not the ideal place to do 8 hours of work.  Remind them to get up, take breaks, walk around and stretch to help them stay focused!

In conclusion, a flexible working arrangement does not need a lot to succeed. Show support to create a culture that encourages flexibility and make sure you have the ability to easily communicate via video conference calls and messaging.  Utilizing the right approach and the right technology while creating a culture that embraces the remote workforce can positively affect your business during this unprecedented time.

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