Managers may be concerned about their employees’ productivity as they transition to a remote workforce, especially with the quarantine measures in place throughout the world. The challenge of mixing personal and work responsibilities is even greater as many working parents have young children at home at all times. How can employers encourage productivity while maintaining realistic goals regarding staff workload?

Agency owners are experiencing a ‘baptism by fire’ in regards to a remote workforce during the current pandemic restrictions. We’ve compiled a few guidelines to help with the immediate transition to working from home (WFH).

Trust Your Employees

There is positive data available which suggest employee productivity actually increases when they are able to work from home. You hired excellent people and they, in turn, want to be part of a functioning team. Lean into this knowledge. Micromanagement will not work in our current situation. Managers will need to let their team’s results matter most, rather than focusing on a stringent set of work rules.

Ensure Your Team has the Right Tools

Your team needs to be able to connect by means other than email. Embrace a video conferencing tool if possible; set up a system of communication like Slack, with instant messaging and the option to create multiple conversation channels. This is beneficial to keeping the team motivated and connected. 

Provide Frequent and Honest Communication

As a leader, you need to be both seen and heard. Make time to meet with your employees face-to-face via video platforms. Prioritize team meetings and set-up frequent check-ins. Make sure you are available to your team for questions and morale support. As a leader you need to be transparent, consistent, and calm, especially during this period of uncertainty.

Set Realistic Expectations

Working from home under crisis conditions, as we are currently experiencing, creates both emotional and logistical challenges. Leaders need to set realistic expectations and clear productivity goals while maintaining a level of empathy and flexibility. It is challenging working in an environment where family members or housemates are also attempting to work, attend school, or other activities. Again, clear communication and creating an environment where employers and employees can share both their wins and their daily WFH challenges are crucial. 

Share WFH Hacks with Your Team

Help your team with their productivity by sharing any insights/tips you have learned, such as:

  • Create a designated work place in your home. Establish both physical and mental boundaries where you can separate work and homelife.
  • When your work day is through, put away your electronic devices just as you would put away your tools at the end of day. Try to keep work from seeping into your personal/family time.
  • Find time to get outside. It’s important to get some fresh air and clear your mind/reset when spending such a disproportionate time at home.
  • Honour your work routine when possible. Begin and end your work day at your regular hours. It’s the lack of structure that often derails productivity.
  • Ask for help if you need clarity or support. Without the visual cues of working together physically in a workspace, it is important employees communicate regularly with their managers/team.

If you are looking for additional guidance on how to navigate the ever changing COVID-19 landscape read other remote working road maps:

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