Coronavirus has made a significant shift to the way that most businesses are functioning. There has not been a single business that hasn’t been affected by COVID-19.

Lockdowns imposed for public safety has forced all businesses to transition into a work from home model. Businesses that already had workplace compliance policies and procedures for remote working had an easier time adjusting. While others were forced to quickly come up with new approaches to remote working.

It is imperative for CEOs to send a clear message from the top down regarding the new changes that are being required. He/she has to be supportive and understanding.

Team leaders and project managers have to take charge of the efficiency of employees, their general well-being and also the quality of operations that take place.

HR managers and health and safety representatives should roll out effective work from home, health and safety, and policies on the general well-being of employees.

The goal for management is to understand the employees who might find it difficult to work from home, often those who are working remotely for the first time.

In this blog post, we will talk about the problems newly assigned remote workers face, for leaders to consider these issues while heading operations with remote working teams.

1. Lack of human-to-human connection

We humans form habits too soon. Strong habits even the good ones hamper us from adapting to new situations. For employees that have never worked from alone, all by their own can find it very difficult to function in the absence of a real human physically present team. They may find team leaders to be distant, lost in other tasks, and unfocused towards them. Furthermore, seeing no people around working may make them feel that no actual work has been done. This might make them lose their motivation and thus productivity.

2. Lack of interpersonal communication

Employees that are not accustomed to working from home often find the added time and effort needed to locate information from coworkers not required and a waste of time. Which is true as interpersonal communication might be effected between a newly formed remote team. Even getting general information to what may seem like general queries becomes a large obstacle to an employee working from home.

3. Troubles due to weak interpersonal bonds

Problems can arise among remote working teams based on weak interpersonal bonds. Research has shown that an absence or lack of “mutual knowledge” between remote workers results into a lower willingness to provide fellow coworkers with the benefit of the doubt in difficult situations. For instance, if you are aware that your colleague is having a bad day today, or has a worrying temperament you will view a rogue email from them as only and understandable behaviour from them due to stress. But, if you receive such an email from a coworker you don’t know much about their current circumstances, you are more likely to be offended, or at least think poorly of them and their professionalism.

4. Feeling socially isolated

The most common complaints employees have while working remotely is loneliness. Employees tend to miss the informal setting and lively social interaction of an office. It is also conjured that extroverts may suffer from isolation more in the short run if they do not have adequate opportunities to communicate with others during their remote-working time. Over a prolonged period of time, feeling isolated can cause any employee to start to feel less belongingness from their organisation. This may increase the risk of depression, low productivity and the employee’s intention to leave the company.

5. Inability to cope with distractions at home

For the ones that are not accustomed to working from home may not find working at home in the presence of their kids and pets comforting at all. For them, it is typically advised to draw clear lines. These remote workers shall have both dedicated workspace where no family is allowed or with some limitations. Here are some tips for working parents to manage working from home along with childcare smartly. Team leaders and managers should expect these distractions and give leeway to the employees during this unplanned work-from-home transition.

Take appropriate action…

Sentrient has developed a course, open for the public, that will help businesses, team leaders, managers etc to handle a remote team effectively.

These courses will help organisations train its staff with actionable insights as to how they can be effective amidst these hard times along with keeping a position attitude.

You can check out the free library of courses here.

For any queries call on 1300 040 589 or mail us on info@sentrient.com.au.