The year 2020 has not been the easiest to navigate. It can be challenging trying to juggle anxious feelings of the unknown future while still trying to continue to work your job as usual. Managers have a difficult task trying to make their employees feel at ease while working during these times. While we are trying to grasp what is going to happen next, managers can do a few things to help make their employees' lives a little easier.
Start by setting expectations. Let them know what the company plans are when it comes to returning to work or continuing to work from home. Give your employees time to prepare for either decision mentally. If returning to work, discuss the company's measures to ensure the staff's health and safety are a top priority. Make sure to keep teams in the loop of any big decisions that are being made, especially while employees are working from home. This helps them feel involved and provides a positive corporate culture while out of office. Forbes hosted interviews with a few larger companies on how they best communicate with their staff while working from home, and most answered that hosting team meetings via Zoom, especially when you need to share visuals, has been very efficient. Also, messaging apps such as Google Hangout or Slack provide a great way to communicate quickly to groups as well as one on one.
Once the company chooses where employees will be working, support the decision by providing the tools that can help them easily transition to working from the office or to continue working from home. There are many software options out there that provide ways to easily work with co-workers either in or out of the office. Platforms such as EntityKeeper allow you to store, manage, and track all your entities in one cloud-based location. With multiple user access, EntityKeeper makes it simple to share corporate entity data and documents with co-workers while out of office but also helps to make sure it is in one secure place when getting back to the office.
Lastly, give them a personal day. Giving employees this time not only shows you care about their mental health and personal life but can also help them come back the next day feeling recharged with a clear mind. Researchers based out of Washington, DC, surveyed over 4,000 people on their vacation habits and found that employees who have the opportunity to take time off report lower stress and increased productivity upon return.
Implementing these three but small things can change your employee's mindset to a positive one when working during rough circumstances. Remember, we are all experiencing this together and need to help one another out. One last note: don't forget to take care of yourself as well, to continue successfully managing your team, you need to give yourself the same grace.