The coronavirus pandemic has forced the motion towards a remote working environment. For many businesses, working remotely has become the best and safest options to maintain activities and protect their employees. As a result, companies that can maintain a culture of home-based work are going to carry on for as long as the pandemic risk remains relevant.
Unfortunately, there is no definite date in sight for this at the moment. As a result, remote working arrangements have become the new normal. Maybe remote working is here to stay, forever. While home offices offer added safety by reducing the health risks for your teams, it also exposes your employees to high stress levels.
Indeed, lockdown working can mean your employees are suffering from the isolation. People who had an active social life outside of their homes are struggling with feelings of loneliness. Additionally, there’s no denying that the pandemic is creating new challenges for employees, such as managing their health and finances for the household and maintaining their usual work performance in a new environment.
So how do you successfully manage employees remotely during lockdown?
You Continue To Look After Your Employees
Stress during the lockdown can come from a variety of places. If their partners have been furloughed or are out of work as a result of the pandemic, employees are likely to worry about financial matters. Additionally, keeping their family healthy at home can also be strenuous without access to the gym or their usual support groups.
As an employer you can help by introducing a support programme such as LifeWorks, which is a complete employee assistance solution. Indeed, while stress may not always be work-related, it will affect your employees’ work and mental health. Helping to reduce challenges that have arisen from the COVID-19 situation through an employee engagement and wellbeing service can make a huge difference to your team’s lives and work.
You Save People Time
Working from home requires some necessary adjustments. For someone who is used to working in an office, having to transfer all office interactions to the online world can affect typical pace and performance. When you can’t ask the coworker sitting at the desk next to you for help, it can take a lot of time out of your day to get in touch virtually and wait for their answer. As such, it is essential to support your team performance at home by reducing any unnecessary time-demanding activities. Answering clients’ calls, for instance, could be transferred to a virtual receptionist so that you can save time without losing contact with your clients.
You Plan Virtual Coffee Meetings
In a typical office, employees can use their lunchtime or breaks to socialise and reduce tensions.
Unfortunately, having a quick coffee and chat in the office kitchen is not an option anymore when you work remotely. Unfortunately, remote work arrangements can expose vulnerable and isolated employees to loneliness and depression.
As an employer, you can reach out to your team and introduce virtual socialising meetings. GitLab, for instance, organises virtual coffee breaks where they can replicate the office camaraderie. Another company, CleverTech, holds online video game sessions where people can join in and play together, and bond through the experience.
The current situation has forced a lot of people with established social routines to reduce social contacts and work from home. The move towards the home office lowers health risks, but it comes at a high cost for your team’s mental health. As an employer, you can take measures to protect your staff from mental exhaustion, isolation, and overload.
The future is going to mean we are all going to have to adapt. You will need to adapt your management style and skills but for now, you need to be employee focused if you want your business to survive this pandemic.
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With Grace and Gratitude
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I hope that you have found this article helpful, and will use this advice to make sure that your business has everything it needs to succeed.