Almost everyone has been sent home. You may or may not be able to continue business remotely. Remote workers during non-pandemic times say they most miss a sense of camaraderie and interaction with coworkers. As a manager, you can help to keep your employees engaged.
Be Flexible and Empathetic
This is not a normal remote work situation. Family members are home with your employees. Some family members may be sick. People are anxious. So, you can’t act like business as usual. Talk with each of your direct reports about their situation and have your direct reports talk with their employees. As much as possible know how each person is doing personally, mentally and physically. Don’t pry, but allow space for them to share. If you have an Employee Assistance Program make sure you are sharing that information whether an employee asks or not.
Send motivational messages a couple times a week. Check on your employees and ask about their families. Help them secure the resources they need. Send updates with resources. Here are a few ideas:
- Stimulus package and financial resource updates
- Reduced health care or prescription costs (goodrx.com really does save money)
- Online courses
- Things to do with kids
- Fun ideas for home
- Cooking tips
Use Web-Conferencing Widely
Whether you like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype or one of the other many web conferencing platforms. Use them. It will help employees remain connected. Think creatively. Have some non-work related web conferences. If you have a social workplace, schedule catch-up time, a virtual happy hour, or a virtual potluck. This may even be a time to have your team introduce their family members. Do something fun. Make it fun and most importantly, STAY CONNECTED WITH YOUR EMPLOYEES.