Although working from home has been increasingly more common in recent years, COVID-19 suddenly made remote work the default, rather than the exception. Even if your team has telecommuted occasionally, full-time remote work with little preparation is a challenge. Here are five ways to effectively manage your remote workers during COVID-19:
1. Establish Clear Expectations
When you’re not working in the same area and able to physically supervise your employees as they work, it’s absolutely crucial to establish clear but realistic expectations on the deadlines and results that must be met. Since employees may also be dealing with having family members, children, or roommates around, they may get interrupted and not be quite as productive as normal. Be understanding that the process in which they typically do their work may be different. However, let them know if the output is of the same quality, there won’t be an issue of how or when they perform the work.
2. Clarify Communication Protocol
With popping into an employee’s office or having impromptu conversations in the hallway no longer occurring, get everyone on the same page in terms of communication. Clarify the protocol your employees should follow when working remotely. For example, preferences on the mode of communication for differing levels of urgency (such as using email for submitting work or asking non-time sensitive questions, while chat is used for urgent matters) or how often you want progress updates.
3. Focus on Virtual Team Building
Collaboration is so important to a successful business, and remote work can cause employees to feel disconnected from the group. Focus on virtual team building to keep morale and productivity up. Setting aside time for a Zoom catch-up or even happy hour can also prevent the feeling of isolation with which many remote workers struggle.
4. Set Regular Check-Ins
Ensure your employees stay on track with their work and that you’re up-to-date with the statuses of projects by setting regular check-ins. Schedule a designated time a few times a week to virtually connect with your individual employees. This also allows them to bring forth questions or concerns to keep you in the loop.
5. Reach Out to Offer Support
These are unprecedented times, with employees working remotely under less than ideal conditions. They may be having to assist children with distance learning or take care of elderly family members, while also juggling work. Those who live alone may be dealing with feelings of loneliness. And just about everyone is at risk of anxiety due to the uncertain state of the world and even what the near future holds. Add in remote work expectations, and it’s likely that your employees may be struggling emotionally, mentally, or physically.
Reach out to offer support – ask how your employees are holding up and if there’s anything you can do. Employees will remember how they were treated by their employers during COVID-19 and if you come across as demanding or uncaring, it can cause you to lose top performers and give your company a negative reputation.
Contact PrideStaff Akron Today to Learn More
If you’re in need of adding top talent to your team, partner with PrideStaff Akron. Our experienced specialists will work closely with you to get a clear understanding of your needs and assess our expansive candidate pool to find the ones who are right for you. Contact us today to learn more about our staffing solutions.