Leading an organization during the coronavirus is undoubtedly unique, but it isn’t impossible. Here are tips for working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is a tough time for companies across the globe. The current spread of coronavirus coupled with requirements in certain areas to social distance are making it difficult to keep moving forward. Employees and managers are anxious, and many of us are navigating the process of working from home while still trying to take care of loved ones. Some even have employees, family, or friends who have tested positive for the virus.
It is just a different time in our history and no organization is immune. However, we will certainly prevail, and it is possible to get back into the swing of things in what is now our new normal. Here are a few of our best tips for working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first thing you should do when you start to work remotely is to create and stick to a solid work routine. Keep regular work hours and remember to take a lunch break comparable to what you would usually do at the office. Take breaks to step outside and get fresh air or open a window. While you won’t be leaving the house, creating as much normalcy as possible is essential. This includes remembering to get up on time, get dressed, and carry on as though you would on any other day. (But, hey! There’s no commute.)
Just because we are all social distancing doesn’t mean we can’t keep in touch. Your employees still need to hear from you and hear from each other. Encourage workplace communication through the many tools available such as group text chat, voice calls, and video conferencing. There are tons and tons of different options available to you and many of them are free. Setup a regular morning virtual meeting to help keep everyone on the same page and consider adding in a workday wrap up a call to share what each person accomplished.
What is another thing you need to do to make working a success remotely? Maintain solid work-life boundaries. It can be straightforward to get distracted by family, pets, and household chores when handling tasks from home. As much as you can, try to maintain a solid boundary between the two. If necessary, get creative in putting together a place in the house to work quietly. We’ve even heard of workers setting up desks in master bedroom closets, garages, sheds, and other places with WiFi access!
Just because your employees are working by themselves doesn’t mean they have to be alone. As you adjust to this new program, check-in frequently on an individual level to make sure each person has what they need to complete tasks appropriately. Have an open mind and be ready to evolve as guidelines do.
It is common during a time of crisis to worry about the future of your company and your staff. But remember to take time for yourself. Go for a walk or spend time in your backyard to get a bit of fresh air. Throw a tennis ball for your dog. Carve time out after work hours to read a book. Exercise or watch a favorite movie. Play board games with your kids. This is a critical time in our society and everyone is feeling anxious. By remembering to take care of yourself, you can be a more effective leader through this pandemic.
Working remotely certainly comes with challenges, but it doesn’t have to mean the end of productivity. These tips are an excellent start for not only making sure your new workday normal goes smoothly, but that you remain an effective leader for your team throughout the process. Remember, this is something we are all in together as a global society.