Whether you are prepared or not, with this outbreak of Coronavirus, working from home has been thrust upon everyone and as a manager or a business owner, you will have to deal with this new work scenario and set up a remote workforce while the lockdown is in place.
The concept of work from home might be novel but it can add more stress than you already are facing with all the uncertainties due to this pandemic. This is why, your role becomes more important to maintain order and structure as people from your employees to clients will be looking at you for direction and guidance.
Here are some essential tips for managing remote workforce during the Coronavirus lockdown:
1. Keep Calm and Carry On
It is easy to get moody and feel discouraged with all that is going on around the world but you are the leader of a team of people. If they see you feeling low, they too will feel the same. While it is important to acknowledge the uncertain times due to coronavirus, it is essential you maintain your decorum and lead your remote workforce as you would during normal business hours. Accept the fact that your workforce will not be as responsive as they normally would. Be patient, respectful and try to avoid criticising them. Allow your workforce to settle in from their remote workplace. Remember, you are the leader so lead with example. Rest will all fall into place.
2. Do A Morning Video Meet Up
While you and your business deals with this current crisis, remember to set the agenda of your business with your team with a video conference. There are plenty of free channels and apps to use for this purpose. Conducting a morning video meeting will allow your remote workforce to interact, see and communicate with you and everyone in your team. It is a good team building exercise too. Your team members will know they are not alone in this situation.
3. Grab The Low Hanging Fruit
Try to approach your daily business in a new way. Your team is away due to the coronavirus lockdown, business flow is uncertain and not everything is going the right way. In such times, focus on achievable tasks. Targeting such low hanging fruits does three things to your team members: first, it puts them in a position where they know they can achieve some outcome. Secondly, it works as a positive direction, away from distressing thoughts. Lastly, it gives a sense of accomplishment.
4. Coffee Break
Often, working from home can be distracting with your team members carrying on their assigned tasks even after normal working hours. This can be due to several house work that may arise, especially for those with children and pets. It is therefore important to set aside some time for a group coffee break where you discuss non-work related issues. This can be sometime in the evening or first thing in morning. Approach this as you would in an office situation where team members take a short break or a water cooler talk.
5. Do A Daily Pep-Talk
These are uncertain times. Chances are there are many in your team who have never faced such a situation before or were too small to remember. As a manager or business owner, it is your role to step in and do a daily check up. This can be a simple hello to providing assurance to their fears. This is required during the initial stages of implementing remote work as most people are not keen for change.
These are some tips for managing remote workforce during a lockdown due to coronavirus. Your team members are the ones who are helping you keep your business afloat, so as a leader, it is imperative you can give them some of your time and calm their fears.