No amount of preparation could have fully readied us for the current global crisis that we’re in. What’s more, these uncertain times don’t just test your company’s state of readiness — it can also bring to light your management’s leadership skills and capability to foster a humane working environment. The UK Government has announced a number of schemes to help prevent businesses from going under. However, it’s up to the team leaders to safeguard and boost company morale during these trying times.
Having to undergo quick changes can take a toll on your team’s overall wellbeing. And when most Government directives recommend people working from their homes, the sudden transition might cause unprecedented delays and prevent your team from interacting like they normally would. Here’s what you could do to keep your team intact while in the midst of a global predicament.
Always communicate with your team
Communication is crucial in times like these. Even if you’ve handed out the necessary instructions and given the proper training, your employees will still have a ton of questions about the new work set-up. Inc Magazine’s discussion on how to maximise working from home suggests that there’s no such thing as over-communicating in a remote set up. Make sure that you ask your team regularly if they have any questions on their end. Doing so can help ease your team in the new arrangements, encourage them to speak up, and mitigate any confusion that might occur.
But other than communicating with regards to your team’s productivity and projects, it’s also best to consider asking your team how they’re coping with the new set-up and life in general. Do a regular check-in on your team’s emotional wellbeing and assure them that this current health issue is being addressed by everyone in the community. This way, you’re updated on how your employees feel and can provide solutions that will benefit the company as a whole.
Encourage healthy work habits at home
The work-from-home set-up is notorious for muddying an employee’s work-life perception. Your team can either easily fall to overworking as they adapt to their new environment, or fail to accomplish their tasks with the multitude of distractions found at home. The list of mental health tips for NAS members outlines what one can do to take care of themselves during a global health crisis, such as eating healthy, keeping fit, and developing good sleep habits — tips that can greatly benefit you and your employees. Remind your team that it’s imperative to prioritise their health during these trying times. After all, without them, there wouldn’t be a team.
Ensure structure and regular breaks
Aside from that, encourage your teams to structure their day — this can help them manage their time better and also be able to take care of themselves and their families accordingly. Be sure that they take enough breaks, too, as a Verizon Connect guide to working smart highlights how our brains lose focus after around 90 minutes on a single task. It’s best to take 10-minute breaks every now and then to refresh your mind, stretch, and get away from the laptop. Push your team to take their breaks and keep tabs on how they spend their time working, so you know that they actually utilise their working hours to the fullest.
While it can be hard to sustain productivity and team morale in the time of global disarray, you can still do your part as a team leader to assure and comfort your employees. By simply paying attention to their needs and giving them constant reminders to put themselves first, your team can maintain a strong working relationship even while being physically away from the office and each other.
This guest blog was provided by JBicknell.