If there’s anything good that the COVID-19 pandemic brought, it’s the realization for many businesses that they can operate remotely. When the pandemic first struck, the business sector suffered a lot. To cope with the changes and to prevent further losses, many companies implemented a work-from-home setup.
It was difficult for employees to adjust to this new setup. But since options are limited, remote working became a part of the new normal in the corporate world despite the slow and challenging transition. Since working from home might stay even after the pandemic ends, you should learn to manage remote work better.
Challenges Employees Face Under Remote Working Conditions
There was a big learning curve when businesses transitioned to a work-from-home setup, and these challenges often made things more complex to employees:
Blurring of Personal and Corporate Duties
Employees have a life outside of their corporate roles. One of your company’s accountants becomes a mom once she steps out of the company building. Working remotely blurred that line. Personal roles are hard to separate from work roles now. This is because of the absence of a physical space that divides such duties.
Work-from-home setups are the same space where employees used to live their personal lives freely. These spaces used to be free of business calls, reports, and meetings. But now, everything is just mixed up.
Feelings of Isolation
It is normal to feel isolated in these trying times. It’s for everybody’s benefit if people keep unnecessary trips outside to a minimum. Still, there are people in your team who thrive in an environment where the energy of work surrounds them. It is hard for them to feel motivated when they feel like they are working alone.
Lack of Motivation
When the pandemic threw the world off balance, it is easy for people to lose sight of exciting things. Probably, many of your team members find it hard to start work every day. It is easy for them to get distracted when they can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, aka when remote setups will end.
What Can You Do to Help Your Team through These Challenges?
As an employer, you might feel like there’s little you can do to help your team face these challenges amid these trying times. However, here are ways you can show you care:
Talk to Them
Since you want to help them solve the problems they face, it’s best to ask them directly how they feel. Genuinely ask how you can help make the situation better. Sometimes, good leadership goes beyond providing the latest desktop monitors and care packages; it’s letting your people know that you are a team and that they are not alone.
One way you can talk to them better is to establish a healthy line of communication between leadership and the workforce. Let them know that they can tell you any time there is a problem, and you will help solve them. This fosters a better relationship among your team and will lead to better work results.
Genuinely compliment a team member for doing a job well done. Share it with your team when you have good news about projects. Let them in on the goals of the team for that year. Doing this will make them feel motivated. When it’s hard to motivate themselves to work on their duties, it might help show them that the whole team’s progress is everyone’s progress as well.
Ease Their Workload
It is hard to be at the same level of productivity they had back in the office compared with when they work from home. It has been established that personal and work duties get mixed up, you might consider easing your team’s workload. Instead of having to work eight hours a day, maybe you can give them extra time each day to care for themselves and their families.
This will help them set clear boundaries between work and personal things.
Have Some Fun with Your Team
Go on team-building events just like you usually do when you are all working in one office. Set aside some time every month when you catch up with each other and bond. There are many online activities you can try to get to know the team members better and establish a connection.
Physical proximity is still the best way to establish a connection inside the team. But since that is not possible, you can settle with the online options. Play online bingo to get to know each other. Or pick a night where you do a Netflix party. Send movie night care packages to the whole team before the event. There are still many ways you can bond through your screens.
The remote work setup is hard for everybody—for the team members and for the leaders. However, those in leadership positions like you have more power to make things better. When you have a solid strategy to lead your team, everything else will follow.