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Fear of the coronavirus is forcing more people into remote work: Here's how your business can thrive

Some of the world’s largest corporations, like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, have moved their company to a fully remote team in response to the COVID-19 threat. Smaller businesses are following in the same footsteps as a way to keep employees healthy and safe from this pandemic.

Remote work has become increasingly popular in recent years, but for several organizations, remote work is a new concept. Transitioning to a fully remote organization can be intimidating, which is why we’re here to share some of the ways your business can still thrive during these challenging times.

Be Transparent

The last few weeks have created panic all around the world. People are worried about the economy, job security, and other changes in business that the Coronavirus has caused. When sensitive topics arise, it’s important to address them head-on, and to consider your employees concerns. Secrecy and hidden plans will harm your efforts to build internal trust, which all organizations need. During this time, you should be considerate, diplomatic, and compassionate, so that you see this in return from your employees.

Reinforce the company’s mission, purpose, and values

Remote work can take a wrong turn when teams lose sight of the company’s mission, purpose, and values. You might want to consider putting together a written explanation of why your company exists and what your team works to accomplish. With a clear vision, your employees can continue to deliver high-quality work.

Promote a digital company culture

Going from an office-based culture to a digital company culture will bring a lot of changes. Communication can become challenging, as you transform from face-to-face interaction, to digital communication. Your team must remember that digital communication is different from communication in physical space. Reiterate to your team that all forms of communication should be proofread to ensure that all communication is respectful and friendly.

Use the right tools and technology

Fortunately, we live in a time where technology is very prominent in our daily lives. As you go fully remote, it’s time to take advantage of all the tools you have. This includes text messaging, email, virtual video chats, and conferences. You might also want to incorporate Slack, if you haven’t already, so that team members can stay in touch throughout the day. Slack is an instant messaging channel for your employees that is widely popular among remote companies.

Pay careful attention to conflicts and problems

When working in an office setting, handling conflicts and issues are much more manageable. In an office setting, you can handle the conflict face-to-face and deal with the situation immediately. Some executives and leaders may not be used to handling conflict virtually. You might be wondering how you handle conflict when the person is not in the same room as you. How do you move forward with disciplinary action?

While this may be challenging initially, it is not impossible. All it takes is more communication and more effort up-front. Before addressing a situation, it is essential to write everything out, and carefully think about how you are going to handle the situation. You also must consider the ways your communication will be interpreted when typed or spoken over a phone or conference call., as you will not be able to rely on facial expressions or body language. Keep your values in mind and be sure to reiterate those values when addressing the conflict. From there, you can move forward with the action deemed necessary.

Hold Employees Accountable

One of the biggest fears employers have with remote work is that employees will not get any work done. However, it’s essential to trust your employees and hold them accountable. When allowing your employees to work remotely, it’s important to have a way to hold them accountable.

When working remotely, employees will work on their own throughout the day. Team members can still communicate with their peers, as they should, but ultimately, each individual works on their own. At the end of the day, you might want to consider holding meetings so that team members can share what they have accomplished in their day. These meetings could be daily or weekly, depending on the work employees are expected to complete.

Be clear about tasks

Good communication is vital for several reasons but especially when it comes to tasks. When working remotely, it can be challenging to get all your employees on the same page. Communication will be vital when working to complete tasks in a timely manner, adhering to due dates.

Allow your employees to take time for self-care

Just because your employees are working remotely, it does not mean that they have more downtime. In fact, those who work remotely often work longer hours. When your home becomes your workspace, the line between the two becomes blurred. To ensure employees are not overworked, urge employees to keep track of their self-care routine.

Make it clear to your employees that at some point, they have to log off. When working from home, you might receive notifications or emails at any hour, but it is important to set working hours, so you don’t set the standard that you are always available.

Embrace working remotely

Transforming to a fully remote work culture can be overwhelming, but remote work has its advantages. Working remotely allows employees to work in places that they are most comfortable and productive. It also allows them to accomplish more things outside of the office, so when they return to their normal office routine, they return refreshed and less stressed. Support your employees and help them make the most of this opportunity.

Work2Live: Guiding you through the transformation to a remote work culture

As you apply these considerations, you will see that remote work is not a challenge to overcome. As a matter of fact, it’s an advantage.

If you rely on these few tips that we have mentioned above, the transition to a remote lifestyle will be smooth and successful. And of course- do not forget to wash your hands!

To learn more about how you can succeed as a remote team, check out our latest blogs!

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