Most of us have been forced to make the transition from going to the office every day to suddenly working from home. And it is natural to be uncomfortable or completely at a loss to understand how to handle this change in our routine.
Especially keeping in mind the changed circumstances around us, even those who were earlier working from home are finding this particular situation strange. You are suddenly handling an entire family that is going through a new challenge.
Whether you are handling kids who are also adjusting to the new regime or are worried about family members who are immuno-compromised, it is bound to affect you. Learning how to handle this situation will stand you in good stead ever after the lockdown.
First of all, accept that this is not a normal situation
Working from home wouldn’t be such a big problem if the situation outside wasn’t as bad as it is. So this is definitely not normal. But all you need to do is learn how to handle the situation. Even in normal circumstances, working from home is something that we need to get used to.
The earlier you get used to it, the better
Understand that this is not going to be a one-off case
Lockdowns could now be a regular feature of our lives given the severity of COVID-19. The number of infected is only going to rise, and the best way to handle this situation is through social distancing. So the earlier you learn to adjust to the situation, the better you will be able to handle your jobs. In fact, if you get it right, it will be a competitive advantage for you in the future too.
Everyone is handling a different situation
When everyone worked in offices, they left their family life behind. So there were no disturbances and you could concentrate on the job. However, now with the entire family at home, each of us is handling different family issues along with the job.
Those who have school kids may be facing a different situation compared to those with college kids, or those with elderly parents at home. So keep that in mind while handling large teams. Sympathize with them and understand their issues.
Understand the nature of the employee
An employee may be an introvert or an extrovert and both these will need different levels of guidance. Some people work well alone, while others need to work in teams. Reduce your workload by letting those who are good at working independently work on their own, and try to concentrate on the ones who will need extra guidance.
Flexibility in timing
Some team members may be unable to start off at the usual time. So maybe you can give them flexibility in work timings. There are no maids or help available at home now. Hence the whole family may be pitching in to help with household chores, so the situation is drastically different to earlier when you could depend on domestic help.
So changing office time to say four hours in the morning and four hours after a 2 to 3-hour break could improve productivity.
Ask employees to help each other
Some of you may be struggling to handle the situation, and others may be used to it. So let those who have advice help the other team members to handle the situation. Maybe you can have a small meeting at the end of the day on how to handle personal issues.
While working remotely, there could be misunderstandings between team members. So the team leader needs to increase his or her bond with the employee so that things run smoothly.
When you have a strong bond, it is easier to give the benefit of the doubt and to help each other. Try to go beyond talking about just office work, and enquire about how his or her family is handling the situation. Get personal.
When working from different locations, communication between team members becomes extremely important to avoid miscommunications. So set out clear guidelines on essential communications, especially when the workflow is dependent on more than one person.
Highlight good behavior
When someone saves the day or goes a step further than required to ensure that the job is done smoothly, acknowledge this in front of the entire team either though a group video chat or through an email marked to everyone and encourage such behavior.
The rest of the team members will not only appreciate that team member, but will also learn that this is the right way to behave.
Thank you for reading this article & watching this video. If you have any suggestion please feel free to send in your comments. Until next stay safe, stay positive!