How To Keep Remote Teams Happy and Productive
As you have all experienced, the coronavirus issue is undoubtedly the most remarkable event in the world, thus far, in 2020. A global survey conducted by Gartner, Inc. found that 88% of business organizations all over the world made it mandatory or encouraged their employees to work from home after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. Therefore, the way we work has been significantly impacted and changed by the pandemic. However, the effects of the pandemic are not the same for each occupational group and departments in any given company.
Many leaders have overcome the first set of obstacles when it comes to moving their teams remote. However, continued recovery and normalization may take time. For each department, patience for adaptation is necessary.
So, in this post we are going to discuss each department and talk about some tips and strategies to help them cope with the pandemic effect more easily!
We will go through each department more in to dept but here is some general tips that works for all teams!
- Stay Active and Work Out
- Keep a Routine
- Choose the Right Work Setup
- Meet and Talk with your colleagues when the task needs it
- Take Breaks
- Set Daily and Weekly Goals
- Virtual Happy Hours
The IT department seems to be one of the departments that have none or little difficulty in working from home. As long as they have enough technological equipment, they can continue to work from home. For many tech people it is also in their nature to do so. However, the problem for the IT department could be social isolation that might cause feeling lonely and less motivated while working from home. The data we have collected from more than 10,000 employees also shows that although working from home had a positive effect in the first months, it became more difficult over time. As a manager, it is important to be aware of this situation and appreciate employees' feelings. Online lunch together might be a good idea to make the employees feel more valued and less lonely!
As a manager ensure you keep the communication lines with your IT team open. Remember that your leadership is needed to give the necessary information in a timely, accurate, clear and transparent manner. Keep a close eye on what your team is talking about, what information they need and why, and take time to avoid any uncertainties. Also, you can have “mute” video gatherings, while working from home. They can all see each other and quickly check if they are interruptible or not. It is a good way to simulate an office environment!
Remote work may not be that easy for the production departments. They need to physically be on their work sites to continue manufacturing the goods. Unfortunately, most of the employees in production need to go to the actual work places despite the risk. This might make them feel worried and unmotivated. Managers, therefore, need to be very careful with the safety regulations to protect them. The most important regulations should be keeping social distance and wearing masks, while maintaining production!
In order to improve safety and security, working hours of the production department can also be changed. Organizations can provide transport services to those who use public transportation. Also, social distance during lunch times should be greatly encouraged. These safety instructions are important for employees’ mental health. It should be noted that safe workplaces help create less stressful and more productive workplaces for employees.
Sales and Marketing teams:
Similar to the production departments, sales and marketing departments have also been negatively affected by Covid-19. Sales rates have significantly decreased in most organizations due to the economic recession being experienced globally. Business process is much slower than usual. This may cause anxiety for the sales employees. During this time, employees may need the support and motivation of their bosses more than ever. Proper communication and support became even more important for them.
Managers can set more specific goals and help employees achieve their goals. It is important to give them the opportunity to perform their own performance, but to be aware that they may need their managers' guidance while doing so. In addition, it is necessary to use the employee recognition and reward system more effectively than ever before. Being recognized will boost their motivation and help them work more efficiently!
Human Resources team:
The main problem for the HR employees could be the possible increase in their workload and stress levels. Now, they bear tremendous responsibility as a department in charge of the well-being of employees and keeping up with all new regulations. They need to implement new regulations and to make some changes due to Covid-19. Managers should take into consideration the workload of HR employees caused by the pandemic and encourage them to take advantage of a number of online HR services that will make their job easier. Digital services like Happy at Work, which measure the employee well-being, will be extra useful in this process to help them lighten their workload.
As we discussed above, you can apply different strategies for different departments like IT, production, sales-marketing, HR. Evaluating each department separately will help you provide customized support for your divisions to mitigate negative mental and physical effects of coronavirus for your employees. Please don’t forget to share your best practices with us as we like to hear more examples from different organizations!