Previously, remote working has been a perk the modern employee receives. This allows some sense of flexibility to work wherever they are provided they have an internet connection. However, the pandemic has forced many organizations to move their entire team online, and this has created a lot of issues managers weren’t prepared for.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some common problems managers face when dealing with employees work remotely, as well as looking into some practical solutions to overcome them.
Under normal circumstances, your employees are surrounded by colleagues. There’s always time to catch up on the latest office gossip, talk about work-related matters, and grab lunch together. This allows employees to bond with one another and feel like they are a part of an organization. This can actually drive their morale up and increase productivity.
Come COVID-19, those privileges were abruptly stripped away. While everyone will be affected, it is thought that extroverts suffer the most.
Over time, your employees feel socially isolated. They may start feeling anxious, depressed, and work performance drops. Good managers will anticipate this and find creative solutions to reduce the emotional baggage their employees bear.
A great way to rekindle their spirits is by conducting team building activities. These can be done virtually to suit different needs. Want your employees to immerse themselves in laughter? Play a game of picture sharing. Want them to work together to solve problems as they used to in a meeting room? Lost at sea could do just that.
Despite being alone physically, your employees have the chance to reconnect with friends in a fun manner. It gives them hope that this will all pass. As a byproduct, you will find your employees more motivated, and that is why team building is important.
One of the biggest concerns managers have about employees working remotely is how to track employee progress.
While most managers are concerned about employees slacking off, the opposite tends to be true when remote working. There’s no physical boundary between work and home when they are under one roof throughout the day, so you’re actually risking your employees overworking themselves in the long run. This isn’t great for their mental health and productivity will take a hit.
Depending on the size of the team, managers can establish a daily call session with their employees. If the work is of collaborative nature, prioritize group calls so that everyone knows what to expect from one and another. Quick standup meetings on collaboration platforms like Slack are a great way for employees to let managers know their current progress. If there’s an obvious difference between the workloads of different employees, it will be easier to redistribute assignments this way.
Lack of Career Growth and Support
Naturally, as employees aren’t within the vicinity of their superiors, they’re bound to receive less feedback from them. This can feel like they’re not making much progress career-wise and things have gone stale. This might not be on top of a manager’s agenda, but it can have dire consequences.
For instance, an employee that’s usually excited for work can start to feel like there’s no meaning to contribution. It’s a day in, day out for them to the point that they lose their sole purpose of serving the company. This has a trickle-down effect and could spill over to the employees that communicate with your clients and customers.
It’s crucial to acknowledge the work your employees put in. Be generous and specific with your thank yous. Let the team know if one of your employees has done exceptionally well over the past few days. When the opportunity arises, invite renowned personas in your industry to give a virtual talk to your employees over Zoom and let your employees share their insights and experience with them.