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Tips for Supervisors on Managing the Remote Team During the Pandemic

Given that staying connected may be a challenge especially now that you are not in actual physical proximity with your team members, colleagues, and co-workers you can make it work with a few creativity and adjustments.

Karen Cruz
Karen Cruz

During this difficult situation of the pandemic, many employees have resorted to working remotely. With the pandemic causing a huge impact in the workload and the workforce, supervisors should take time to strategize on various ways on how to keep the employees’ productivity and engagement high despite the new work set-up. It is important during this time to support the employees through regular, effective communication and a shared sense of purpose. Given that staying connected may be a challenge especially now that you are not in actual physical proximity with your team members, colleagues, and co-workers you can make it work with a few creativity and adjustments.

Ensure the Efficiency of Your Department

The departmental work, due to the pandemic, may look different. In terms of the workload, some will be put on a high-priority and some would have to be placed on hold, and in terms of the workforce, there may be a temporary employee reduction due to illness. With that, supervisors will need to consider the following:

  • Have the employees in your department undergone cross-training for them to be capable of covering for unavailable staff?
  • Are the employees’ work shared, documented, and made easily accessible?
  • Is your team in your department aware of the ways on how they can enhance data security while working remotely?
  • Have you met with your fellow supervisor and discussed about workload division and transferable tasks/skills? In what ways can employees provide assistance to others in the department/division in completing necessary tasks?
  • Should there be a rebalancing in the workload? Are there available employees who have more time to finish tasks? Should there be a reassignment in the workload accordingly?
  • Are there future projects that can be acted upon at the moment?

Keep Your Remote Team Engaged and Productive

Review Your Team’s Technology Resources and Needs

  • Identify what technology tools your staff are using in their daily work and determine if these resources will be accessible when working from home.
  • Ensure that your staff are provided with access to technical support should they need assistance.
  • Decide among your team which platform/s will you be using to communicate. Clarify with them your expectations for online availability and confirm with them that each has access to the technology tool/s and support resources.

Evaluate the Work Schedule

Clear with your staff your expectations regarding their work schedule whether you prefer for them to stick with their regular work schedule or you are open to a flexible schedule depending on the staff needs. This is necessary as some staff are parents of young children so they can manage their work schedule and outside work activities.

Draft a Work Plan

You can consider the following as you design your work plan:

  • The unfulfilled routine responsibilities/tasks due to working remotely and its impact on the operations and to other people.
  • The routine responsibilities/tasks in need of regular communication and collaboration with others.
  • Special tasks or projects that can be worked on in advance while working remotely.
  • The schedule of the events or meetings prior to the temporary remote work arrangement.
  • The developmental goals that an employee can accomplish while working remotely.

Come Up With A Communication and Accountability Plan

Supervisors should monitor updates from staff on their work plan progress and what updates should be included. You can do this by conducting regular check-ins. Start each work shift with an instant message chat, with a phone or video call. This will a positive routine that ensures a clear connection and communication between you and your team members. Every other day or once a week will do as long as team meetings and one-to-one check-ins are maintained. You can adjust the schedule according to the quantity of workload for that specific day.

Take Time to Engage With Your Team Members on a Personal Level

Things may be hectic for a time but it is necessary to have a talk with your team members about things non-related to work. Come up with engaging activities that you can do on your team meeting which will not take too much time from the work schedule. Thus a fun way to maintain rapport with your team despite the new work set-up.

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