As restrictions start to ease and many businesses begin thinking about how their staff may return to the office, for some people working from home may not end when the COVID-19 pandemic does.
Following recent conversations I’ve had with my clients, one thing that has been discussed a lot has been around productivity. Some businesses have seen significant increase in productivity when it comes to new working environments while for others technological challenges, lack of communication and routine, stress and uncertainty has led to reduction.
It’s important to remember that during these times of uncertainty and change everyone reacts differently and not one day can be the same. For many leaders, this can mean a new way of working or even thinking a little differently to get the most out of your team on a regular basis.
Here are three tips that might help your team to stay focused and boost productivity no matter the environment.
— Focus on your long-term plans
Over the last few months businesses and staff have been focusing on what impact situations like COVID-19 have on the short-term. When really, it’s important we shift that mindset and get people thinking about what the future looks like, where they sit and what role they will play. When employees feel a sense of purpose and feel part of a journey, they are more likely to be engaged and be in a more positive frame of mind.
— Re-connect your team
For some teams, the dynamics might seem a little smaller or they may not have connected with each other for a long period of time. This could mean that your employees may have lost touch with each other or even what each other are working on, which can have an affect both personally and professionally.
During these times, it’s important that teams communicate on a regular basis and don’t just focus on work. People need to re-connect and start to feel part of a wider team again, no matter the size.
For example, you might want to implement a simple weekly stand up (virtual) meeting where each person talks about one thing they’re working on and one thing they did on the weekend.
— Have you set clear goals with realistic expectations?
Over the last few months people’s expectations both from a manager’s and employees’ perspective have most likely shifted to accommodate different challenges around personal life, work life balance, home schooling etc.
As restrictions shift and kids start returning to school it’s a good opportunity to re-assess your expectations with your staff and set clear goals to help them engage and refocus their efforts, as well as understanding what you need from them.
Just remember that not everything needs to change. Yes, you might start returning to the office soon or increasing your hours back to normal but don’t forget that during these last few months your business and your people will have adapted to new ways of working that might just be for the better.
Embrace them and be willing to continue to change and adapt as we’re still not sure how long this pandemic will last for or whether we’re at the end.