Author: Katie Langston | May 14, 2020
Much of the world has now been in some degree of shut down for weeks. For those fortunate enough to be able to telework, working from home has become the new normal. This has required adjustments as people learn to juggle workload with personal obligations and household relationships.
In this new environment, managers and leaders have also had to master their own balancing act. They must balance business needs (for example efficiency and productivity) against the needs of their team members who may be fearful or require more flexibility given the circumstances. Maintaining employee engagement is crucial as employees who are invested in their job will be more productive, provide higher quality output, and will reduce inefficiencies caused by high turnover or absenteeism.
As more companies move to a full-time remote work environment due to Covid-19, managers have an expanding toolkit at their disposal. A myriad of software options is now available to help keep in touch with far-flung teammates or check to see if people are being productive at home. More “old school” options include regular team meetings, check-in phone calls, or e-mail surveys. Many employees report that they enjoy contact from managers (after some initial nervousness). It keeps remote workers linked to the team and prevents feelings of isolation from colleagues. Virtual gatherings outside of the normal workday are also popular, although it is important to keep these optional to avoid employees feeling overwhelmed by work obligations.
It is likely that remote work is here to stay. Workflows developed during the Covid-19 crisis will form at least part of the way we do business even after on-site work is again possible. Well-trained managers who can effectively lead a remote team are essential now and will continue to be needed in the months and years ahead.