When the coronavirus pandemic first hit, companies had to quickly shift priorities from “business as usual” to “keeping business going.” Sending workers home and learning how to work virtually stole the spotlight for many weeks. Fast forward several months, and teams are still largely working virtually. Now that the dust has settled, companies can move from survival mode to a place of improvement.
To do this effectively requires a closer look at the most important priorities for managing a remote team during the pandemic. These include, but are not limited to:
1. Ensuring Adequate Face Time with Employees
It’s not hard for employees to feel like they’re on their own when working from home. Meetings are at a minimum, and the occasional deskside pop-ins are obsolete. It’s important to continue meeting with your team face-to-face, though.
One-on-one time allows each side to ask questions, get feedback, and feel supported. Putting a face to the conversation also helps to strengthen trust and stokes the social fires. Even if your only option is a video chat, take advantage of technology to keep names and faces top of mind.
2. Be Available
In a virtual workplace, a physical office no longer serves as a common anchor point for teams. It’s even more important to demonstrate to your team that you’re available to lead and support them. Let them know the best ways to reach out, and give them more than one option. Also, set expectations about how quickly you will respond to them so they know how long to wait for help.
3. Clarify Processes and Output Expectations
Work has suddenly transformed from a place to go to something you do. Along the way, processes that worked well in the office may have been lost in translation when shifting to remote work. Now is a good time to re-examine the way you carry out day-to-day activities and improve on them for better collaboration and execution.
Also, consider the fact that you might not measure productivity in the same way you did in the office. As a team leader, you need assurances that your teammates are contributing in impactful ways and not falling behind. Take this time to clarify how you will measure their output and how you will hold them accountable for their share of the workload.
4. Maintaining a Sense of Company Culture
Though your team may be happy to work from home, don’t ignore the fact that they might also be missing social interaction. Your company culture is the glue that holds everyone together, so find new ways to infuse your culture from a distance. This could be hosting virtual happy hours, lunch-and-learn events, or anything where coworkers can continue interacting with each other.
Now that you’ve had time to get used to the virtual workplace, it’s time to start filling in the gaps and inefficiencies that weren’t priorities during a rapid transition. Bringing the above priorities to the forefront can help you continue delivering a great experience to your employees, and in turn, they can feel confident and prepared to continue serving your customers.
For more virtual workplace insights, head back to our blog.