CRUCIAL TOOLS FOR WORKING REMOTELY: KINDNESS & COMPASSION
As more people have shifted to working remotely, there’s no denying some are having a really rough time making the transition. After everyone settled in for the first stretch of working from home, managers could probably figure out pretty quickly which workers were struggling to achieve work-life integration. Some work emails or texts were tinged with anxiety. Employees who were normally self-sufficient started peppering their bosses with questions. Some people’s production lagged, or workers who were normally out the office door by 5 p.m. were suddenly sending a flurry of messages late at night.
Managers who have been successful and effective when their team was in an office setting are now tackling a diverse, new set of workplace issues. While each worker is unique, there are strategies you can use to help your group in this time of transition.
Here are a few easy steps that will help you lead with kindness and compassion while working remotely.
Create The Environment
Just like you would in an office setting, you need to create an environment where people can freely express what they are currently feeling. Make a safe space for them to share their feelings of uncertainty, their sadness over the loss of seeing their co-workers in person, even their frustration over how difficult it can be to juggle family life while they are working from home. You can do this with group video chat meetings as well as one-on-one conversations. This will give your team an open environment to share, to heal, and to get ideas from others about how to overcome any roadblocks.
Providing an outlet for peer-to-peer engagement can also be comforting. Sometimes, talking to another co-worker is the best kind of one-on-one interaction for your group. Invite your team members to set up a buddy system where they not only check in with each other each day, but share responsibility for small group projects, if you can. This will keep them feeling connected even while working remotely.
Share Your Experiences
It’s good for your team to realize that managers might also be having difficulty adjusting to a new normal when it comes to your work schedule. Shared experiences make people feel more connected. For example, if you have small children at home and they’re finding it hard to understand why their parents are in the house all day but can’t always play with them, let your team know how you are dealing with this. By recognizing that we are all human and have issues we are trying our best to handle, you are showing compassion as a leader.
Make sure your employees know you are genuinely concerned with their wellbeing. When you connect with them on the phone or via virtual video meetings, go beyond talking about work. Be sincere and ask how they are doing. Maybe they have a favorite series they are streaming, or a restaurant nearby that’s doing great take-out service. Sharing these details will help them feel more connected and valued.
Be Present Emotionally
There are lots of ways to be present for your team, even when you are working remotely. Short emails, text messages or voicemails let people know you are thinking about them during the day, and are there for support when they need you. Make sure these messages are personal and positive. A message to the whole team telling them they’re doing a great job is fine, but personalized notes to each employee spelling out something specific they’ve done well will be more meaningful.
It’s also a good time to send your team reminders of their goals. It not only lets employees know you are thinking about them, it underscores the purpose behind the work they are doing.
Have Trust in Your Team
Trust is a key factor in making any remote work relationship successful. You need to trust that your employees are doing their work and give them the autonomy, if you can, to decide how and when to do it. Schedules will likely vary for each person while they work from home. Some people may have children at home and will have to adjust their work schedules accordingly. Others may find they work better early in the morning. If you can be flexible, now is the time to embrace that and let your team know that as long as they remain productive and are hitting their goals, you are trusting them to arrange their remote work schedule to accomplish that.
Kindness and compassion should be your watchwords as you learn to navigate your team’s remote work schedule. It’s normal for some people to have less-productive days, or to want to take a day off because they just need a mental break from everything going on. Cut your team some slack.
That goes for yourself, too. Remember to take it easy and set aside some time for self care. This could mean wrapping up your work day early to cook your favorite meal, heading out for a walk in the sunshine, or indulging in at-home spa treatments. Try something like Artistry Signature Select™ Personalized Serum, which combines botanicals with skin care technologies to create an individualized product for your face.
Have Virtual Coffee Dates Consistently Scheduled
Getting some good face time is an important way to stay connected to your team when you are working remotely. Consider setting up regular one-on-one or group coffee dates with your team members each week. You can use these as brainstorming sessions for work, or just time to chat about what’s going on in their lives.
As more people adjust to working remotely, managers are finding that each individual might require a unique approach when it comes to motivation and support. Kindness and compassion are key ingredients to making this successful for the employee and the company.
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