Under the current Covid-19 pandemic employees and employers are in fact not merely working from home, but are at home during a crisis, trying to work. Leaders who recognise this reality, seek out opportunities to build their team and adapt to the crisis, will come out ahead on the other side of the pandemic with stronger and more resourceful teams.
For many employees, an ideal work from home situation is not the current reality. Balancing home schooling, childcare and work performance while lacking access to essential work infrastructure, social engagement and professional support can be challenging and stressful.
7 ways leaders can help:
- Be flexible and communicate expectations. Flexibility with working hours and deadlines is key, while prioritising essential work.
- Avoid micro-managing. Trust employees to fulfil their duties.
- Provide access to online resources, tools and essential infrastructure. These need to accommodate flexible work routines based around employee’s household needs.
- Offer professional support. Help out wherever you can to ease the burden for those who have home/work balance challenges.
- Focus on employee mental health. Do one-on-one check ins and also E-meet in teams. Allow social chat time to encourage team connectivity. Offer access to professional mental health support, advocate for staff to medical aids or pension plans, etc.
- Share your own struggles. Do the work of identifying, processing, and sharing your own challenges, where you are at, and how you have adapted. This will help employees connect with you on a personal level, developing team loyalty.
- Praise and encourage. Be real – share wins with your team, praise those who have achieved and encourage those who are battling.
For further insightful guidance around running a successful virtual working environment, click here to visit the LexisNexis Virtual Working Resource page.