One of the biggest changes brought about by the pandemic is the move from brick and mortar office spaces to remote working.
Most of us, hunkered down at home, are only seeing or hearing from our colleagues via digital platforms like Zoom or Skype.
This can heavily impact company culture if it isn’t managed correctly, which in turn can affect the output of your employees.
Think about it – if interpersonal interactions between staff were a big part of keeping things light, the sudden shift to communication that only issues directives and reports outcomes could take the joy out of the job.
Entrepreneur put together some tips for managers and bosses looking to reduce employee stress whilst still maintaining productivity.
1. Open Communication
Your team needs you to stay calm and keep things under control. It’s your job to set the tone and take action. If you’re in a panic, your team will pick up on it and the panic will spread. Keep lines of communication open and keep in touch with your team through daily check-ins.
2. Manage Misinformation
Misinformation and unknowns are a common side effect of uncertain times. Our current economic status as a country means that a number of people have lost their jobs, or are concerned that they could end up jobless.
Make sure that your company is transparent about what’s going on. It’s also important that your employees are up-to-date on accurate information about the pandemic, which will help to ease stress and anxiety at home and in the virtual workplace.
It’s also worth researching and sharing tips for managing stress and anxiety.
3. Encourage Employee Interactions
Without the usual face time in the office, it’s important to maintain regular professional interactions online.
You can do this by implementing employee portals, virtual meeting using video conferencing tools, or even setting up social media groups. Just make sure that they’re closed groups, or things could get out of hand.
A WhatsApp group used for sharing light work-related memes or conversations is a good way to keep in touch outside of business interactions.
4. Clear Policies
Working remotely will differ for employees depending on their circumstances at home. Schools and daycares are closed at the moment, which means that more than a few parents are trying to juggle kids and work.
Set core business hours when your team should be available to collaborate or meet up online, outside of which employees can work on flexitime.
5. Safeguard Mental Health
Those isolating alone could be experiencing a level of depression from lack of social interaction. Remind your team to protect themselves and others by checking in and keeping personal relationships alive.
Your team will come out of this stronger if you make mental and emotional health a priority.
This is another instance where sharing resources on managing mental health while locked down, especially if self-isolating alone, could be useful.
Lastly, look after yourself.
If you fall apart while trying to take care of everyone else, nobody wins in the long run.
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