Leading a Virtual Team in Lockdown24 Aug 2020
With Australians in yet another quarantine because of the COVID-19 pandemic's resurgence in various areas – a Stage 3 lockdown and Victoria in early August even having gone to Stage 4 – living life virtually is what seems to be the new normal. From buying groceries via digital delivery platforms to keeping in touch with friends and family via video chat, these are just a few of the everyday workarounds that will continue for the foreseeable future.
Remote work also continues to be common for many non-essential workers, and employees across Australia are getting back into the work-from-home groove.
Going into lockdown again has demonstrated just how important it is for managers and other professionals to maintain a certain set of skills so the transition is simple and seamless. Think about it this way: You shouldn't have to skip a beat when your operations transfer to online-only, because at this rate, it's difficult to tell when businesses will get back to the office permanently.
Here are a few tips for leading a virtual team during lockdown:
Understand how to establish clear expectations
While most of your operations may remain the same, there are certain expectations that need to change. Collaborate with your team members to figure out which tasks are unrealistic or don't make sense to achieve in the new working environment.
Build a steady routine for yourself and your team
Routines are going to change – that's inevitable. The great thing about working from home is the flexibility that comes with it. In the office, you and your team members may have followed similar routines, but working from home introduces the idea of setting up daily schedules that specifically meet your new needs. What works for you may seem out of reach or uncomfortable for your team members.
This is a good time to reevaluate current working hours and traditional practices. Some team members may be juggling work with children at home, which may encourage them to start working earlier or a little later in the day.
"I have seen the business community grow more compassionate over the last several weeks understanding family situations, personal home situations there's much more openness to having that be part of an employee's life during the workday and understanding the impact that could have on an employee," Jean McClellan, consulting practice partner and Canada's National People and Organisation practice leader told Human Resources Director magazine.
Give team members the flexibility to figure out what works best for them, as this can lead to greater productivity, help them achieve work-life balance and maintain their mental well-being.
Manage team workloads with the pandemic in mind
Because of the reasons previously mentioned, your team members may feel more overwhelmed by their workload pre-pandemic as it translates to how they work today. Reevaluate what you expect of your employees based on the current state of the lockdown to help them cope with the changes and get a grip on this new normal.
Enrol in ICML's newest course
Maintaining effective collaboration and communication at the forefront of these unprecedented times can be tricky for many, especially when you've never had to lead a virtual team before. To manage your remote time as successfully as possible, you need a certain level of support and guidance to mould to this new way of operational oversight.
Our Leading and Managing Virtual Teams course can help you do this. During the training, you'll learn how to better manage expectations, create a new sense of community in a remote working environment and support team members during strange and challenging situations.
The best part? We can conduct the training in an online virtual classroom so you can gain these skills and knowledge without worrying about breaking lockdown procedures.
For more information, contact us directly today.