Social distancing is now the norm for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, The Guardian notes that small companies may face severe restrictions due to social distancing. Companies such as a tanning salon or a beauty parlor are faced with a lot of uphill challenges just to keep staff and customers safe. To effectively manage remote workers during the social distancing era requires understanding the problems and approaching them proactively. But how does a leader manage a team while still ensuring that social distancing norms are met?
Don’t Try to Remote Control
Within regular environments, leaders can micro-manage as they see fit since everyone is in the same locale. However, if you’re managing a distributed team, you won’t have the luxury of looking over everyone’s shoulder. Instead of trying to control every employee’s actions, trust them to get their work done in their own time. By giving them more control of their schedule, you open the door for greater autonomy and responsibility. Eventually, these workers may even be able to make decisions themselves on behalf of the company.
Keep in Touch
According to Harvard Business Review, building teams requires finding the key elements that individuals have and seeing how they work in combination with each other. However, for people to work as a team, everyone should be in communication. Luckily, since social distancing has forced a lot of businesses to look into remote employment, technology has improved to keep pace. More professionals are using Zoom or Microsoft Teams to keep up with the rest of their office. As the leader of a company, you should make it a priority to speak to your team and make sure that they manage their workload well. Keeping in touch helps inspire your employees to do their part as you rise to the challenge of how to manage remote workers.
Distribute The Support Network as Well
Working remotely can take a toll on an individual’s mental health if they’re not used to it. It can be overwhelming for a manager to have to deal with these situations, especially if the company is above a specific size. One smart way to offer moral support and deal with the loneliness of isolation is to set up teams of two or more to work in tandem with each other. Professional communication software like Slack can already help businesses put together focused chats that are dedicated to particular goals. This implementation gives employees a ready support network and establishes a firm sense of camaraderie with others from the office.
At this point, no one is sure about the outcome of the pandemic. Infection and fatality rates are rising steadily around the world. Despite the dire news, there should always be something to look forward to. As the company leader, you have to remain optimistic, no matter how desperate the outlook. As you manage remote workers, you might want to adapt your management style to be more engaging. Relax a little bit around the staff and maybe crack a few jokes. This upbeat attitude helps your team relax and negates the fear that society has invested in almost completely. Fear can paralyze a person’s abilities. As the business manager, you should ensure that your staff isn’t trapped in the grip of fear.
A Different Paradigm to Work Within
The spread of the pandemic exacerbates the limitations that businesses have in the twenty-first century. Not only are companies dealing with how to effectively manage remote workers, but they’re also trying to ensure work gets done on time and within budget. Managers of these companies already have so many elements to deal with to keep the company profitable that they lose sight of managing their staff. These suggestions can help those managers get more peace of mind when it comes to employee engagement while at the same time dealing with the need for social distancing.