The world continues to face the health and economic impact of COVID-19. With a vaccine still under development, governments and health agencies have implemented lockdowns and the closure of establishments to keep the public safe. Because of these regulations, many businesses have been forced to transition to a remote working setup. It’s safe to say that this is the new standard for now.

Even though telecommuting is constantly on the rise, there’s no denying that it comes with its fair share of drawbacks. Your employees have more time, energy, and comfort by not traveling to and from the office, but staying in isolation isn’t a pleasant experience either.

Repeating the same things every day, not being able to connect with colleagues, and other personal dilemmas caused by the pandemic can significantly affect the well-being of your staff.

Making the shift towards remote management means reassessing your responsibilities as the team lead. Apart from maintaining productivity, your employees’ well-being is also one of your top priorities. Fortunately, coping with the new normal can be easily done with these simple tips.

Be considerate of their personal needs

Everyone is facing the pandemic in his or her own way. Some of your employees may be lucky enough to live with their families, while others may be carrying all sorts of burdens alone. With that said, applying the same strategy to every person in your team is not a good recommendation.

Being considerate of the personal needs of your employees hits two birds with one stone. First, listening to their concerns makes them feel valued and nurtures your working relationship. Second, showing empathy will lead to higher job satisfaction levels, which ultimately means an increase in productivity.

Help them set boundaries between their work and personal life

One significant challenge that remote workers face is not knowing when to stop. Working from home may provide comfort and convenience, but it also blurs the boundaries between one’s personal and professional life. Employees who don’t know how to take breaks or end up working past regular hours will eventually fall victim to burnout.

As a manager, you’ll need to help them set limits, and this dilemma can be easily solved by imposing the right rules. To get you started, a simple solution is to encourage everyone in your team to clock in and out of work at the same time.

Be creative! You know your team best, so try and test out different methods.

Organize virtual hangout sessions

Video calls may not fully replace face-to-face encounters, but given the demands of the situation, it can go a long way. Feelings of loneliness may be getting the best out of your employees, so consider organizing virtual team engagement sessions.

Luckily, communication platforms such as Zoom can help you organize fun activities such as quiz and game night. In case your team has a lot on your plate, you can also organize weekly virtual team lunch for an easy way to stay in touch.

Listen to employee concerns

Communication is extremely vital for any remote team. Since you don’t have the luxury of sitting next to each other, you’ll be forced to rely on messaging platforms to communicate. Unfortunately, this limitation doesn’t only serve as a barrier for work-related discussions; it can also hinder your employees from talking about their personal concerns.

Members of your staff may be too shy to message you about their problems, so you’ll need to take a proactive approach instead. If you have some team members who are worried about going back to the office, listening to their concerns will help you ensure a safer workplace for your returning employees.

Not to mention that providing avenues for discussion will also improve your management style.

Provide physical and mental health tools

Everyone knows the age-old adage, “A healthy mind starts with a healthy body.” Poor health habits such as smoking, sleeping late, and binge eating can greatly affect a person’s mood and cognition, so you need to remind your employees to take care of their health.

Encouraging them to download fitness apps will make it easier for them to build a solid workout routine. In addition, providing mindfulness tools such as Calm can help your team members wind down. Physical and mental wellness go hand-in-hand, so giving your employees the necessary resources will ensure that both are properly maintained. 

Encourage Employee Well-being

Optimizing your company’s productivity starts by maintaining the well-being of your employees. If you want your service team to provide better customer support or your sales team to close on more leads, you need to start by listening to their concerns, adjusting your leadership style, and finding ways to make their work easier.

COVID-19 is notorious for its public health and economic impact, but it’s also essential to recognize the emotional toll it has on people. Many are dealing with anxiety, sleep problems, and high levels of stress during this period, and your employees may be dealing with the same issues.

As a manager, your role is bigger than ever, so you need to take the initiative and encourage your employees to maintain their well-being.  With these tips in mind, keeping your team happy and productive will be a lot easier.

Author Bio:

Valerie Chua is a Content Specialist at Manila Recruitment, a company providing headhunting solutions for the recruitment of executive, expert, technical and specialist positions in the Philippines. Follow Manila Recruitment on Twitter @MNLrecruitment or connect with them on LinkedIn.