Most companies and workers thought that working from home would be a temporary solution to the immediate crisis of the early COVID-19 pandemic. As COVID-19 continues to circulate in the environment, however, many people are still working from home – and some are feeling the strain.
Here are several ways you can help support your team while they’re working in a less than ideal environment:
Encourage boundaries around work time.
The allure of being able to work anywhere at any time conceals a potential danger: Your team may start to assume they can work everywhere, all the time. When work and life bleed together, burnout is imminent.
Encourage and model boundaries around work time. For instance, set a team rule that email is only “open” between normal office hours, such as 8 am to 5 pm. Tell your team to walk away from their email after office hours are over – and demonstrate this boundary by declining to send or answer your own email during “closed” hours.
Set up regular check-in times and routines.
Some team members find working from home a burden because they don’t have regular chats and connections with their team or supervisor. Setting up a regular check-in time and routine can provide structure and accountability.
For example, ask each team member to send an email at 4 pm listing three work items they accomplished that day. This simple check-in task creates accountability: No one wants to reach the 4 o’clock deadline with nothing to report. It also gives you an opportunity to provide feedback each day.
Embrace flexible working hours.
Summer’s longer days provide more opportunities for your team to work when their energy levels best support focus. Encourage your team to find their own optimal “work zone” with flexible working hours. Set clear deadlines and expectations for deliverables, but let your team members determine their own best time to complete those tasks.
Supporting your team through a time of change can be a challenge. The more support you offer, the more your team will appreciate the help – and the easier it will be for them to return to full productivity.
Need help supporting your team in these turbulent times?
Talk to the experts at Odell Studner today. We’ll help you address uncertainty and build a brighter future for your business.