As we march our way through a period of prolonged social distancing, working remotely has become the new standard for many organizations. While we work in an age more suited to this type of disruption than any before, still leaders are faced with the challenge of maintaining productivity and engagement with teams working primarily from their homes.
Below, we’ll cover some best practices for ensuring productivity and healthy communication among your remote workforce.
Keep everyone updated: You’ve heard it one hundred times already, but these are truly unprecedented times. With circumstances being so fluid, consistent and transparent communication is the best weapon to fight uncertainty or uneasiness among employees.
Keep everyone up to speed on the state of affairs to the best of your ability. As states slowly begin to reopen, share your safety plan you have in place to eventually get everyone back to working as usual.
Set clear expectations and check-in regularly: While some people are more suited to being productive from home, many people can struggle with the distractions and lax environment working at home presents. Encourage healthy working-from-home habits, and help provide employees with everything they need to set up a well-equipped home office.
Be sure to encourage management to check in with individuals as often as they can. Emotions are high for everyone right now, and some may be struggling to cope with personal challenges while balancing their workload. Make sure they have an avenue to air out any concerns and provide support in whatever way you can.
Collective goal setting: One thing we lose when we transition to working remotely is the collective buzz and energy of the office. One way to recapture that inspiration is to create a thread or channel on whichever internal communication platform you use where people share one goal they are aiming to complete for the day each morning. Any initiative that promotes a sense of mutual goal-completing can help recreate the buzz of connectivity present at the office.
Leverage internal communication software: Teams, GoTo, Slack, Zoom—whichever platform your company uses, lean in on it now more than ever to promote an office-wide sense of connectivity and purpose when nearly every other stimulus encourages disconnectedness.
As much as possible, try to provide opportunities for everyone to get some face time with one another. Hold a weekly or bi-weekly all-hands meeting via video conferencing to update everyone on the latest news and acknowledge employee achievement. Encourage individual teams to have morning “huddle-type” meetings for colleagues to check-in on one another and update each other on projects or new developments.
Small steps like these can help create a greater sense of cohesion and productivity while we all combat the current conditions and do our part to get back to business as usual.
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