COVID-19 is certainly starting to take its toll on the business world. The incessant pour of information and restrictions being broadcast almost hourly and the fear generated have given many Australian businesses reasons to be concerned about the near future. But no disaster lasts forever. That’s the good thing about them, there is always an end.

The goal is to manage and stay afloat while we are still grappling with this virus and the restrictions it has imposed. In this blog, we advise leaders to take the following simple but necessary steps to ensure the workforce is effective and productive.

1. Acknowledge and respect individuality

It so happens that members of many remote teams begin to feel isolated by working alone, and on the other hand, others may feel liberated. Some might love the round-the-clock access to work, while others may need to have a better boundary between work and home. Some employees have their peak productive moments after 10 pm, while others like to stick to strict office hours.

The goal is to accept every remote worker’s method with sympathy and reasoning. Reasoning aids managers in communicating with individuals on behalf of the company and bringing the maximum productivity out of them. Respecting individuality helps remote workers to feel seen and cared for. This is the best method to become more bonded as a team.

2. State expectations and deadlines unambiguously

Do not beat around the bush. Write it all down in your brief. Your employees might not be able to ask around if they will have any doubts. It is very important for leaders to communicate context to their people, including context regarding the task, deadlines, and the manager’s expectations. For this, leaders need to be clear and explicit about what is required of the remote working teams and from each individual. In other words, the requirements, deadlines and KPIs of tasks must be stated clearly, along with the manager’s personal feelings. For instance, if the manager wants reports of weekly progress, the manager must say so.

3. Foster high-trust workplace culture

Trust is imperative when it comes to handling remote teams. Individualisation, keeping promises, and frequent conversations are the ways trust is built in an organisation. The following things increase trust in an organisation – a good bit of face time (or, in the case of working remotely, video time) and consistent check-in points to see that people are ok. Knowing whom to turn to when help is needed enhances productivity and aids growth, as well as a well-made workplace compliance policy pertaining to remote working. Businesses that carry out these activities are able to create a high-trust organisation.

4. Believe in employee’s talent

Needless to say, it is the talent that is the key to performance out of many other things. The workers’ CliftonStrengths report identifies internal drivers and areas of potential excellence as tremendous assets to the organisation. Now developing this talent may take resourcefulness, creativity, and diligence while working with teams over a distance. So you need to be smart utilising your talents. Identify what people are good at. Train them if needed. assigning them those tasks that employees are good at or could be good at. By doing this, you not only help the individuals develop more talents and strengths but also can expect improvement in business outcomes. While it is necessary that managers should always ask for the opinions of remote workers asking opinions that are informed by talent can yield useful feedback specifically.

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