How to Manage Your Business Operations Remotely During a Global Pandemic
COVID-19 has become the most circulated word in 2020. This pandemic has already impacted the way organisations operate and will continue to fundamentally change them in the foreseeable future.
As this continues to impact our lives, remote working is our new reality. So, how do leaders, managers, & employees make this abrupt shift with minimal dips in efficiency?
Since we have been implementing remote working since 2014, we have come up with some guidelines on how you & your employees can effectively transition into remote working.
Any sudden change in the work environment is enough to disrupt operations if the business is not prepared or if it has not anticipated such a change. And this is exactly what is happening with most businesses today. In order to adjust to this new — hopefully temporary — “normal”, leaders should first prepare their employees mentally & should get the appropriate infrastructure to support remote working.
- Do they have laptops for employees?
- Do they have the right software to perform their tasks? The right software to hold conference calls?
- Do they have the right software programs that MONITOR whether jobs are being fulfilled and operations effectively completed?
These are some of many things to consider during a transition like this.
We have listed below some pointers that have proven effective over our 6 years of implementing remote working:
Aside from the operational side of things, leaders must ensure that their employees are ready to handle their new lifestyle. COMMUNICATE. Have a group conversation with employees assuring them that there is certainty in the midst of all their uncertainty. Team members should constantly feel like they know what’s going on.
“This is a different time for us. We don’t know how long this will last but we are here to support each other and lift each other up. We will make sure you have what you need to continue your work as “normally” as possible.”
This type of assurance will help ease employees into this lifestyle and give them confidence that it will work. It is also imperative to set recurring meetings just so there is clarity on things and so the “teamwork” vibes are sustained. Frequency of contact should be maintained to keep the connections people had at the office.
It can be quite a shock to the human being to go from one way of life to another in a short period of time. Psychologically, employees need to be ready. That’s why it is advised to encourage employees to develop disciplined rituals so that they can stay on top of their tasks and remain productive:
- Set your alarm early in the morning as if you’re heading to the office
- Freshen up, get dressed, & get ready for your day
- Create a plan: “what are my tasks for today?”
- Schedule your lunch/coffee breaks (minimise them to match your office breaks)
As for infrastructure requirements, we compiled a list of the most crucial systems you need to thrive today.