Working from home. The coronavirus is now forcing people to do so in some countries.
A few months ago, I wrote an article about how to manage / lead a virtual team (for those of you who missed it, here is the link).
With the current situation with the coronavirus, the advice I mentioned in my article is still valid and even more critical.
When you were managing a team onsite and suddenly, everybody is forced to work from home, you are now dealing with other challenges and another dynamic.
Here are a few more advice I’d like to give in these challenging times
Keep communication going
In normal circumstances, you hopefully had regular one-on-ones and team meetings with your team members. Now, you’re all working from home and do not see each other. Make sure you keep the communication going. Set up a chat group so that you can greet all your team members every morning and ask how they are doing. You can use this chat for casual conversation or to ask business related questions. You can also use this chat group to ask who needs help and who can help (maybe some team members live in the same area and can help each other with groceries, or taking the dog for a walk). The most important is that your team members still feel they can contact you (or anyone in the team) if they have questions or concerns.
With schools or kindergartens closed for a few weeks, some people will have their children at home. This means they may be struggling attending some conference calls or send certain reports/mails at times previously agreed. Try to show some empathy and be flexible. If they cannot deliver a report by let’s say 10:00 AM, they may be able to deliver it by 14:00. In these exceptional circumstances, show some flexibility and understanding, People are dealing with these issues the best way they can, they will appreciate it if you show some flexibility and allow them to do their job with some changes in their schedule.
Implement virtual ‘breaks’
If you were having some regular coffee breaks with your team members, or if you legally need to provide breaks to your team members, why not use this 5/10/15 minutes break to meet virtually? Have a video conference call or use the chat group I mentioned earlier to give people the opportunity to speak about anything but work. Try to bring some fun. Share something funny you saw on the internet (a picture, a small video etc.) and encourage everyone in your team to do the same. This will help you all relax a bit and recharge your batteries.
This situation is unprecedented. This represents a change for everybody. It is a change for you, whether you are a manager or a team member. Everybody deals with change in different ways. Everybody has to adapt to this new situation, even if it is for a short period of time.
Make sure you are all supporting each other, that you show empathy and understanding.
⭐️⭐️⭐️ Together we are stronger ⭐️⭐️⭐️
#vlvcoach #leadership #management #virtualteams #remoteteams
This article was also published on Linkedin.