Imagine the last five days. Where did you go? How many people did you come into contact with? If you had to jot down every single place you stopped by, even for a quick errand, could you? Maybe. It’s almost certain though, for most of us, that work would be on that list.
The coronavirus takes about five days from catching it to show symptoms. As a leader, it’s frightening to think that your office could be on someone’s list and put all of your employees at risk – leaving many companies to take serious action. Some companies like Indeed and Mastercard are offering more work from home time or are even closing their offices. Larger companies that operate internationally like Intel are restricting all travel to China – leaving $20B of their annual business conducted from across the world.
At Y Scouts, we firmly believe in Work that Matters – From Anywhere. In a desperate public health crisis, make sure your organization is equipped with the tools and productivity skills to keep business running as safe and as healthy as your employees. Whether you decide to let employees work from home, minimize face-to-face meetings, or no action taking at all, these tips might help your team stay productive in their work – no matter where they are.
Host your meetings virtually.
Only in your dreams is there an organization that never has mandatory meetings. Love them or not, they need to keep on keeping on, even if the team is working remotely or stuck in the states with travel restrictions. Whether these scenarios are in place yet or not, it’s time to get everyone comfortable with virtual meetings. Zoom, Google Hangouts, and GoToMeeting are all great ways to make people feel like they are in the same room from anywhere in the world.
Provide a chat tool to provide employees quick communication.
Whether you’re stopping by Janet’s desk for a mission-critical question or to chat about your weekend plans (let’s face it, it’s part of office culture!), it’s essential to make employees feel like they can quickly communicate online. It not only keeps them engaged with each other, but it also saves them time and keeps them from having additional to-do emails cluttering their inbox. Proofhub, Slack, and Chanty are all great tools to allow employees to message each other directly or have a group chat going with their team.
Time-management techniques can help keep people dialed in.
No matter how great a team is, a lot of leaders get a lump in their throat when they think of letting employees go rogue and work from anywhere. Not anymore! Simple time management techniques can keep business running smoothly – in or out of the office. Make sure your team uses their calendars effectively and blocks time off for anything and everything they will be working on that day. This allows them to keep on track and gives visibility to you and your team to know when things are getting done. Calendar tip: Block off lunch breaks and small breaks and schedule other meetings back to back to avoid extra downtime! As always, the best way to keep people engaged anywhere they are is to set concrete goals and deadlines to make expectations clear and keep everyone on the same page.
We all hope the coronavirus can be contained soon and won’t impact businesses for very much longer. Regardless, it’s time to start taking action and opening-up conversations around what remote work through this time (or any!) would look like for your organization.