By Luke Smith
Our economy was thriving just weeks ago. Unemployment was at an all-time low. We were looking forward to spring weddings, summer vacations, family reunions, and spring graduations.
Everything changed suddenly. Our schools were closed, our businesses closed, and our towns and cities were abandoned.
However, even though we retreat to our homes, our lives, however, are not over. Remote work is now a necessity for many.
You suddenly find yourself in a position to lead your team under unimaginable conditions.
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You will need to quickly learn how to be a leader, counselor, mediator, manager, boss, and cheerleader. This article contains the best tips and tricks to help you lead during lockdown.
First, just breathe. Then remind your team to do the same. We are all just trying to feel our way through this unexpected crisis.
Have patience and compassion. Accept that there will be errors. There will be difficulties. Your team’s efficiency, productivity and performance will suffer.
It’s okay. It’s temporary. Your crew and you will adapt. This is not the time to be a taskmaster and create every rule and regulation to enforce every performance metric. You will need to either throw away or at least put it aside for a while.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Relaxing the rules and being more flexible with your standards does not mean that you are free to do as you please. There is still much work to do. This work can actually be a saving grace. It will guide the company through these turbulent times and give you and your staff something to focus on for a while.
Working together to find solutions for your team’s problems at home will give you a sense of normalcy, purpose, and accomplishment when you need it most.
Talk it out
Good communication is essential when leading a virtual team. Your team will require you to be available and responsive, even if you are far away.
Your younger crew members, particularly millennials and Generation Z, may feel comfortable communicating via the internet, but they won’t be able to wait for an email. They will be able to access almost instantaneous communication via text, instant messaging, video calls, and conferences.
Baby boomers and older workers will likely have a harder job with the loss of face to face interaction. You should also be ready to provide additional support if they are having trouble with the technology.
To maximize communication at a distance with multi-generational teams, you will need to use as many tools possible, including video conferencing, chat, and instant messaging.
Your team can install an instant messaging tool like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Asana, as well as a collaborative tool like Hangouts and Asana. Also, ensure you have a videoconferencing platform such as Zoom or Skype Business.
If you don’t use these tools, they won’t be of any benefit. It is important that your team has at least one instant messenger app open while they work. Also, make sure you communicate often with your team using this app, both individually and in groups.
It’s also important to make daily use your videoconferencing and collaborative tools. You should schedule video conferences with your team at minimum once or twice per week. Use your collaboration tools to create the daily work schedule for your team.
Be kind to yourself and your team
You and your team will need to find the right balance between work and life as you enter the brave new world that is remote work. It can be difficult to achieve the right balance when your home is also your workplace.