Moira Dunne from BeProductive takes a look at how managers can lead their team while working remotely during these difficult times surrounding Covid-19.

We’ve all been taken by surprise by the speed of events caused by Covid-19. Most people are working from home and for leaders and managers this means a shift in style and approach.

Here are some pointers for leading people remotely during Covid-19. The skills are the same leadership skills you use every day in the office, with a difference.

Provide focus

As you streamline your business to essentials activities, many decisions will be made at a senior level. Help people adjust by explaining the reason behind the changes and how they impact each role.

Discuss new priorities with each person. Listen carefully to their ideas and suggestions and then agree weekly and daily targets. Targets can help people stay on track if they are finding it hard to stay focused at home.

A target combined with a daily check-in gives people a sense of accountability. It can also provide a sense of achievement and productivity as the targets are reached.

Provide connection

Being available by phone and email to discuss questions or concerns is key. Consider using video too for daily check-ins.

Group video calls keep everyone connected and help keep morale up. Tools like Zoom or Whereby are easy to set up and manage. Perhaps someone on your team would take this as a mini project, to get everyone connected.

Use collaborative tools like Microsoft Teams, Trello or Slack to help people update each other on group projects and to track the status of tasks.

Provide flexibility

Flexibility is key right now. We are all adjusting to these uncertain times and it is important to help your team deal with any stress.

Adjust your expectations as you set targets. People can’t be expected to work at the same rate or pace as they did in the office. Some may find they get more work done, as they have fewer distractions. But for most there will be more demands on their time right now, particularly with children off school.

Your people may not be available during usual business hours. Be flexible, allowing them to work at different times, if the demands of your business can support it.

The new normal

For many companies and leaders, this transition to remote working will be tough. But it may be an insight into a new way of working for your business in the future. Keep an open mind and an open ear during these uncertain times.

If you need any specific productivity tips, you can contact Moira at moiradunne@beproductive.ie or you can access her website here.

Photo by Luke Peters on Unsplash

By Moira Dunne

Published: 24 March, 2020

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