For many, the switch to remote working has been sudden and unexpected. Business owners have had no time to prepare workers or infrastructures for this giant adjustment many of us are facing. Thanks to insights from GitLab and LinkedIn, we have compiled some advice on how to cope with the significant change in how we are now working and some other tips on how you can get the most out of remote working in the long run.
Transitioning Your Team in the Emergency Situation We Face Today
- Create a remote leadership team
You might say this is a bit of a butterfly effect situation where something that appears straight forward can cause a rippling effect into a tsunami. Quickly assess the managers and leaders you have and see who has remote work experience and use them to create a new leadership team.
A key part of this team’s job will be to monitor the challenges workers are facing in real-time. Because of their previous knowledge, they will be able to prioritize these challenges and select directly responsible individuals (DRIs) to look for the best solutions.
- Find the best method to keep everyone informed
Use a company website or one of the many repositories in Notion or Ask Almanac, but this should be your single source of truth for company questions, doubts, and concerns. Every employee must have access to this source of information, and it must be updated regularly. The Coronavirus has caused worldwide confusion, so being systematic about how you provide information is critical to reducing the confusion within your organization.
- Depend on formal and informal methods of communication
One of the biggest adjustments that employees have to get used to is the reduced amount of communication. But if you want your productivity to continue at the same pace, you will need to make sure that employees are able to communicate with you as and when it is needed. Your team might even benefit from an “always-on video conference” where people can join in when they need something.
One take away from the experts is that honesty is vital in this time of crisis and this must. Go both ways. Not everyone is going to like the idea of working from home right now, especially if they are at home with children on lockdown. Leaders will want real-time updates, but it might not always be possible. So, perspective and transparency are key.
- Only use the necessary tools
Realistically, all you need is a company-wide chat tool like Google Docs and a video conferencing platform such as Zoom. If employees need to access internal systems via a VPN, clearly instruct them on how to do so. Because this is a unique situation that has left many people in a difficult situation, now is not the time to be adding fancy new tools. Company documentation must be a focus, updated company policies and protocols must be shared with everyone in a familiar way.
- Encourage a change in your office culture
As a general rule, we don’t like change, and this couldn’t be truer when a global health crisis is occurring. If your organization has never worked remotely before, this is going to be a massive change, so make sure your employees know that it is a process everybody is working on together. Most importantly, managers and leaders must be seen to embrace this change so that team members follow suit.