Needless to say, the current coronavirus pandemic is impacting people all over the world. You likely don’t need to be reminded (although we’ll remind you nonetheless) to do your part in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Practice strict hand washing, cover your mouth and nose with your inner elbow while coughing and sneezing and maintain social distancing by keeping at least two metres apart.

As a business owner, that last one may be a bit of a tough go. Understandably, you have a business to run and employees to support. However, at the present time, getting your employees to work from home is strongly recommended. This is likely a new territory for you. How does one manage a remote workforce?

Set clear and specific expectations.

It’s important to help each of your staff members comfortably ease into this new method of working. Working from home is clearly a different experience than coming into work every day. Because of the big change, it’s vital you clearly outline what is expected from each of your employees. Start off by setting some small goals and ask each of your team members to follow up with you or each other at least twice each workday.

By setting clear expectations, you’ll be able to foster greater production from your team. It’s important for no one to become complacent in their roles, simply because they’re not at their traditional places of work. Your team members will appreciate your clear plan. Don’t forget to acknowledge their accomplishments and continually show appreciation for all of their efforts to adapt to the new work structure.

Arrange weekly check-ins.

Thankfully, modern technology makes it easy to stay in touch. Whether you’d like to use Skype, WhatsApp Video or FaceTime, you can easily speak with each of your team members through virtual face-to-face meetings. The regular check-ins will help to motivate your staff and keep them focused on priority tasks. Each conversation is an opportunity to communicate your company objectives while also a chance to express your gratitude for your employees’ hard work.

According to Forbes.com, “video conferencing can also help to improve work/life balance by enabling telecommuting—74% of all executives surveyed say video meetings enable home office-based team members to participate meaningfully in live discussions. Additionally, 66% say video conferencing is particularly effective in enhancing the engagement and effectiveness of remote “gig” workers.”

Focus on employee morale.

Your virtual meetings are important opportunities for you to get to know your staff members a little better. It goes without saying you should inquire about the health and well-being of your employees and their families. Don’t ’t shy away from a little small talk to help boost morale during this tough time. Keep in mind that your body language will go a long way in communicating your positive energy – which is sorely needed right now.

Some of your team members might be craving human contact during this time of self-isolation. While it’s easy to get distracted by constant phone calls, texts, emails and pop-up chats, make sure you’re giving your team members your full attention during your check-ins. Discuss whatever you feel may lift their spirits. It will work wonders in both helping your organization to get through the COVID-19 pandemic and keeping production levels high in the process.

For more expert advice on how to manage a remote workforce, contact Hire Value Inc. today!

Written by John Howie, Vice President Learning at Hire Value Inc.

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