Working from Home During COVID-19: How to Ensure That Your Team Remains Productive

using his laptop

A deadly pandemic is sweeping across the entire world, forcing the entire world to retreat back to the safety of their own homes. Offices have shuttered their doors in an effort to prevent the further spread of the virus.

For businesses that decided to implement a work-from-home arrangement, here are some tips that may help you and your team remain productive:

Make Sure You Have All the Necessary Tools

A remote setting will not be ideal or possible if not all your employees have access to a stable internet connection, a personal computer, and programs and software you would need to continue operations. It is necessary that you have a meeting and ask each member of your team if they are capable of working from home.

You, as the boss, need to provide them with the tools they need to perform their responsibilities efficiently as if they are at the office. This is the right time to consider switching to the cloud where you and your team can access all the data, programs, and software you need daily. With ServiceNow’s Project Management, for example, you will be able to develop and execute strategy in one place and in real-time. People no longer have to download several applications to their personal computers.

Establish Regular Communication

laptop and headphonesOne possible cause of concern for those who are transitioning to a remote setup is maintaining communication. However, not being present in the same room should not be a deterrent to collaboration.

You can utilize some of the many apps that are made to connect people. Slack, Skype, and Google Hangouts are great for instant messaging.

You should also introduce the use of acronyms for digital communication. In emails, add No Need to Response (NNTR) so that your team does not waste their time typing a reply nor clog your inbox with unnecessary messages.

Do not bombard your team with announcements, either. Do not ask for follow-ups through text or phone in addition to email and instant messaging. This will only distract them from their tasks.

Encourage Your Employees to Take Breaks

Working from home does not immediately excuse you from giving your employees time to eat their meals and take a bit of rest throughout the day. Follow the routine you have established in the office. When the clock strikes 12, let your team log off and take a break in peace. Recommend that they step off of their desks to eat their lunch and stretch their legs. This will allow them to relax their minds and refocus as soon as work begins in the afternoon.

In addition, remind your employees to follow a healthy daily routine that includes drinking eight glasses of water, eating a balanced meal, and having regular exercise. This will help your team be at their best even when they are staying inside of their homes for hours and days.

Maintain Old Routines

Leaving the office does not mean you also have to ditch old rituals and routines. When an employee celebrates their birthday, make an effort to party virtually. You can always send the celebrant a cake to their home. Schedule a few minutes during the day when everyone can pause from doing their work, hop on a video conference call, and sing “Happy Birthday” to the celebrant. Find creative ways that can help you preserve connections and relationships despite the distance.

Whether you are implementing a remote setup for your team for the course of the pandemic or doing it permanently, the key to becoming productive at home is to be open. Be open to suggestions, concerns, criticisms from your team.

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