How to keep your employees' morale up working remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic?
With self-isolation and all doom and gloom, what are you doing differently with your virtual teams, and everyone working remotely?
It's more important now than ever to check in with your employees at least once or twice a week, depending on how you usually conduct business. If you usually work out of an office and you're together 5 days a week, 9-5, you'll probably need to conference call a few times every week during Covid. If you are like us and you're used to the WFH methodology, once a week is plenty. During these calls you're not just following up on work tasks, you're also checking in to see how home life is going, how everyone's mental health is treating them and I personally love throwing around some ideas around how I've been staying focused. You never know, perhaps one of the trips or tricks you share as a leader could substantially help your team whether it be cooking a new recipe, a new online yoga class, an upskilling platform or an art project. If someone is having a particularly difficult time adjusting, make sure you direct them down the right path, whether it be a free call to a counselling service or just a listening ear. Lastly, I'd recommend looking into how you can use Trello, Monday, Asana or the new Favro for an organisational tool while we're in ISO. This way you can organise your team without feeling the need to contact them directly every 5 minutes. Tasks are assigned, due dates are locked in and progress reports can be detailed along the way without 100 email chains going back and forth.
I've been working remotely for years and one of the most important things - for me - is to actually get dressed in the mornings. As tempting as it is to sit in my PJs all day - it's just not good for my mindset. Checking in with my colleagues / clients once or twice a week is all I need. It's important to share information and enquire about families, children, weekends etc. I always start my weekly check-in with a 'good news story'. That for me shows that we care about each other and are interested in what's happening in each others lives. Then we can discuss work. Definitely need to use a task management tool where we can all be across everything - I use Trello and ASANA and Slack / ZOOM / SKYPE for communications. I also work in blocks of time so that i don't get flustered. Setting a schedule and sticking to it is what works for me.
I feel that this will be our new normal for a long time to come and how we work in the office will change permanently. I think COVID has shown a lot of companies that for the most part, with the technologies we have today - most people don't actually need to work in an office - it can all be done from home. But it is definitely the mental health aspect of it that has been and will continue to be - a challenge for some.