As a tech company with globally distributed employees, we’ve always supported remote work. Not everyone, and not all the time, but enough to feel progressive.
Then Covid-19 hit.
We soon realized the difference between being technically prepared and being socially ready.
Here are my top 3 lessons learned from supporting a remote workforce since March.
1. This is a weird time. Acknowledge it!
Often it feels like we’re not working from home, we’re living at work. It’s important to give employees the flexibility to structure their day in a way that works with their new living/working arrangements. Flexible work hours, measuring performance based on output vs. time spent, and encouraging people share their lives, kids (whether intentional or not), and pets are all helpful.
2. Create opportunities for social interaction and cross-functional work.
Even introverts miss the water cooler chat and hallway run-ins. It’s important to provide opportunities for connection. Allowing time and space in a meeting agenda to have conversations unrelated to work can go a long way towards bringing people together.
3. Celebrate inchstones as much as milestones.
Be sure to provide praise and recognition to team members, inform other groups about progress made or projects completed, and congratulate each other for just showing up.
Overall, you never know how someone is being affected by outside influences like a global pandemic and civil unrest. Everyone is allowed to have an “off” day — even you.