Remote Work Best Practices During the Coronavirus Pandemic
If you’re a small business with an in-person team, chances are you’ve gone fully remote for the duration of the coronavirus outbreak. This unprecedented pandemic has uprooted companies and communities, and many workers in the United States and elsewhere are struggling to adjust to a newly remote workplace.
Depending on the needs of your company, you might find that the transition to all-online work isn’t going well. Luckily, Summit Collaborations has been fully online for years, so we’ve got a good idea of what remote work best practices look like. We can’t guarantee these tips will hit all of your company’s target needs, but with some key strategies for managing remote work, we hope we can get you on the right track. Let’s get to work!
Have a clear gameplan
You’ve probably realized by now that the milestones and deadlines you were working with in person don’t naturally adjust to an online workplace. Rather than try to muscle these deadlines into existence, it’s best to rethink your digital gameplan.
If your team tries to accomplish tasks that simply aren’t achievable remotely, they’ll get frustrated quick. Work ethic might plummet, stress might build, and your employees will develop a sense of learned helplessness. It’s time to be honest with yourself and your team: some projects simply need to be reimagined for the computer screen. Focus on achievable tasks and craft an updated gameplan – you’ll find that the remote working space can be highly productive with the right set of tasks.
Right now, your team needs strong, accessible leadership more than ever. Luckily, the solution is simple: talk, talk, talk!
Your team will need a specific direction in these bizarre times. Be sure to communicate deadlines, milestones, and resources for each of your team members as they adjust to a fully remote workplace. Let them know what you’re thinking as you change your company’s course, and make the process as democratic as possible by inviting their opinions and ascertaining their comfortability.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that your team works well together because they get along together. Don’t just chat professionally, chat casually – offer some “water cooler” questions, get the group to talk about their weekend, and make sure everyone’s needs are being met during this quarantine. The best way to work is together!
Utilize online resources
How are you managing your projects? Where are you communicating most consistently with your team? The COVID-19 quarantine provides some great opportunities to investigate new remote work platforms, so if you haven’t yet, be sure to consider your options.
When it comes to project and task management, several different sites offer great organizational benefits. Sites like Teamwork, Avaza, or Basecamp allow you to assign things directly to your staff with optional due dates and resources. Some of these sites allow you to track time as well, while invoicing can be handled through a website like Bill.com
In terms of messaging, we’re sure you’re already familiar with Slack, which we recommend as a great place for both professional and casual communications. If Slack isn’t your style, you can also try Google Hangouts, Skype Messenger, or Fuze. Whatever you decide, just make sure you use more than just email – your team will likely feel alienated if they can only reach you through your inbox.
Emphasize video calls and web sessions
Right now, even the most productive, self-sufficient workers are probably feeling isolated. The coronavirus has posed a variety of new challenges to society and our social lives. As a team leader, you have the power to address these feelings of isolation through video calls and other digital resources.
Sites like Skype, Google Hangouts, or Zoom allow you to manage group video and phone calls and send out personal invites. By hosting weekly video calls, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page at the same time. Additionally, try hosting optional “video conference work sessions” – your team can work together while on video call, and even if nobody says anything, their workspace will feel more productive and less lonely when surrounded by familiar faces.
Remain positive and encourage self-care
There’s no clear end in sight for this pandemic, but that doesn’t mean life has to stop altogether. With these resources, your company can stay on track and connected, which is the most important thing for staying sane. Additionally, make sure your team knows about self-care resources, including mental health information, at-home entertainment options, etc. Finally, remember to listen and reach out to your team members – sometimes, the best form of care is a listening ear.
Are you still struggling with the remote work transition, or do you need a remote marketing team to help you with the workload? Lucky for you, you’re talking to the experts. The team at Summit Collaborations has well over a decade of total digital marketing experience, and we’re here to help you make it through the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more about what we offer, or reach out to our CEO, Ashlee, today. Say safe and healthy!