Managing a Remote Workforce Amid COVID-19
Welcome to your new normal. Prior to this year’s COVID-19 pandemic, remote work’s prevalence had been gradually growing, but COVID-19 sent the movement toward something close to universal remote work into overdrive. The need for social distancing to slow the pandemic’s spread meant that practically overnight, entire organizations had to transition from being together every weekday in offices and cubicles big, spacious commercial office spaces to being isolated in separate living spaces all the time. This sudden adjustment has required a shift in management style, as managing a remote workforce presents different challenges than most organizations are used to tackling. Here are a few tips for managing a remote workforce amid COVID-19:
Be Present for Your Employees and Do What You Can to Reassure Them About the Future
Your employees need to know that even though you are not sharing the same physical workspace with them for the time being, you need to make an effort to be present in their lives and reassure them about what the future will hold for them and their careers. Emails and short video presentations allow you to communicate reassuring messages to others in your organization with a personal touch.
Keep Both Formal and Informal Lines of Communications Open
Gone, at least for now, are the days of unexpectedly running into your employees in the break room or in someone else’s office and striking up an impromptu conversation. If you want to stay in touch and keep open the lines of communications between you and others in your organization, you will have to try a little harder than you used to. Make an effort to communicate with your employees and colleagues through instant messaging, email, phone calls and video meetings.
Stay Positive and Upbeat
With large portions of their lives likely in flux for the time being, members of your organization need you to convey positivity and stability to them. When you communicate with your employees, use positive, enthusiastic language to reiterate your commitment to them and your excitement about what the future of the organization will look like.
Take the Time to Thank Everyone for Their Hard Work
These are trying times for all of us. It is easy to get discouraged when it feels like so much of what is going on in the outside world is beyond your control, which means it is more important than ever to let your employees know how much you appreciate all of their contributions to the organization’s success.