Remember working inside the office walls? The 2020 storm hit human lives, and it didn’t leave businesses out of it. When the entire world has adapted to the new way of existence, industries have taken a big shift in their work from home culture too.
While industries struggle with a bruised market, cost-cuts, and severe falls in the business results, there is a new way of working, ‘the work from home culture’. Though the concept of working from home has been rising, it still is a surprisingly new concept to employees.
Presently the traditional model of working from an office appears to fade with time. The work from home system, which came as a healer to the business bruises during COVID, has now turned into a preferred digitised work culture.
According to the Time of India Survey, 66% of employees feel their productivity is going down to the scale. The reason being, lack of human interaction, poor work-life balance, lack of energy, missing the coffee or tea breaks, and much more.
As the industry adjusts to this new normal, it puts business leaders in the most challenging and critical place right now. With businesses reestablishing through work from home culture, leaders have been continuously managing teams with a modified mindset.
Their team, which used to share an office, is now working from home. And this has introduced new challenges for them such as: How to lead effectively when employees are greeting with emojis rather than handshakes? When meetings are being held via video calling platforms (Zoom, Microsoft Teams) rather than in-person?
This has definitely changed the direction of their jobs in the past some months now, and given the lack of physical human interaction, it’s harder to evaluate an employee’s state of mind. Though the rapid shift has been meddling challenges for organizations and employees, leaders around the globe are exploring creative solutions to support their team members.
Leaders have responsibilities more than just keeping track of an employee’s work record. Creating a sense of support, trust, and a healthy work environment comes along with this role.
Since work from home can impact mental health due to isolation and lack of work-life separation. And the leaders are responsible for their workforce’s mental health. As retention and health are critical for any organization to stick their employees around longer. A good leader knows when to motivate the team, how to build trust-based relationships along with good work and productivity.
As said by Julie Wilson, founder of the Institute for Future Learning, handling a virtual team requires leaders to “strengthen the fundamentals of good management, including setting clear goals, driving great meetings, communicating clearly, and leveraging team members’ individual and collective strengths.”
To invest in your employees’ wellbeing, here are three ways to support your team.
While working from home, maintaining communication is essential for leaders, not in terms of meetings or office work, but a talk outside the work. In scenarios where your team is working from home, checking on them as a colleague gets lost under a pile of work.
According to studies portrayed in HBR, 46% of remote workers confirmed that the best managers were those who checked on them regularly. You know it’s important to ask your employees how their work from home experience has been, how’s their day or are they facing any challenges.
In a nutshell, there have to be questions apart from: What have you completed so far? What are you working on? By when can you submit the task? The human interaction that used to be there while working in an office needs to be reinstated.
Furthermore, two things that help in maintaining communication are:
- Consistency and honesty
- Feedback and discussion
Employees working from home feel all burned up due to disconnection and isolation that eventually lowers their productivity and engagement. It is essential to keep the team on track by addressing these challenges and establishing team interaction more frequently.
According to studies by Google, some of the most effective ways to knock off these challenges are connecting via video conferencing and dedicating a few minutes at the beginning for open-ended questions, such as how was your day?
For many leaders, the transition to remote working has been an opportunity to expand their creative boundaries and open a new world of opportunities. Such leaders introduced a virtual team engagement program in their organization to lighten their employees’ heads a bit and bring the team interaction back.
Just how it used to be in the brick and mortar model, these virtual team-building strategies help the team to collaborate and engage in fun activities like solving the puzzles, virtual 3D room escape, and much more.
The base idea of these virtual team-building activities lies in reestablishing human interaction and connection, which will enhance their productivity and boost their energy.
The way working culture has changed, it’s important to reconsider the measures to count productivity. Earlier, the number of working hours used to be one of the major parameters for measuring employee’s productivity. With remote working culture, this has adapted too, i.e. by end of the day more than logging hours, what should matter is the actual productivity or the task completion.
In order to support employees, leaders have to bend their structure and strategies a bit by giving them flexibility in their work. Like trusting them to deliver the work on time, reviewing the team goal, flexible working hours.
While the team is working remotely, put your trust in them in order to knock down the virtual team management challenges. Thus, with a work from home culture, adopt flexibility and transparency too. It will allow your team to understand their responsibilities which manage expectations and enhance productivity.
In times when your team requires your support, you have to be there for them. It’s a leader’s responsibility to comfort and adapt their team when it comes to a shift in the work culture. The above-mentioned three ways are the most crucial steps to implement in virtual team management strategies.
What your team needs the most is the trust that will let them play in the field of work from home. When they are satisfied and happy, most of the employees request for the continuation of remote work. If you are the leader and you are here, we trust you with your team and its productivity.
Just like how you came here looking for ways to support a virtual team, look nowhere else if you want to implement virtual team building activities in your organization. Contact Crew It: we make it happen.