Manage & Motivate Employees While Working From Home

2020 coronavirus lockdown in india

In stressful times, keeping your team’s spirits up can be challenging.

With fear looming around the rising COVID-19 cases and anxiety building up over the Coronavirus pandemic impact on the global economy, employees can find it hard to focus and stay positive. 

Here leaders play a key role in boosting team morale and help maintain a healthy work-life balance while working from home. 

It sounds tricky, but it’s time to play ‘the good cop’.

1)  ‘Team Bonding Thursdays’ Is The New #TBT

Gather your team over a Zoom/Slack/Skype/Hangouts call and talk about everything under the sun. Encourage team members to open up about their WFH life with fun questions and keep the conversations going.

i) Listen, ask questions and be a part of their lives

Ensure that every team member is available for the group meet-up and talk to each one of your team members. The goal is to let everyone know that they are dealing with the pandemic alone.

ii) Don’t talk shop.

Use this opportunity to let team members talk about their daily lives and take a peek into each other’s lives.

iii) Appreciate, encourage and recognize every effort

Even if it’s not work-related. If your team member has taken up online guitar lessons, learning a new language- you know what to do.

2) More Face Time, Less Call Time

Move over the regular con-calls and encourage employees to do video conferences for meetings. This is enough motivation for them to get off their pajamas and feel closer to the office. A much-needed nudge to their dampened hopes and confidence due to the lockdown.

i) PPT or not, let them speak

However trivial the subject may be, let your member put his/her point across on the video conference. Boost their confidence by encouraging them to participate in the discussion and be a part of the team.

ii) Appreciate extra efforts with an audience

Someone just designed a product ppt by themselves? This calls for applause. Encourage the member to share the desktop screen and show his/her efforts in front of everyone. Recognition does wonders for hiking work from home productivity.

3) Keep up the One-On-Ones’

When the world is looking at a future full of uncertainties, communication is the key. Before your team starts spiraling into an ocean of existential crisis, make sure you personally connect to each one of them. Especially those who you don’t get to talk to. You know who they are.

i) Drop a text every once in a while

A simple ‘Hello’ and ‘How’s the work coming along’ goes a long way in reassuring team members in dark times. If you think you have nothing to talk about, the pandemic has given us enough content for lengthy conversations.

ii) Make yourself available for personal conversations

Encourage your team to reach out to you regarding personal issues ranging from job anxiety to family stuff. Schedule video calls and help them find solutions. Remember this is an act of empathy, refrain from sounding patronizing.

4) Make office timings work for WFH

Juggling work, chores and family time can be stressful during a lockdown. Lead by example and draw boundaries around work timings to help your team maximize their productivity without losing their cool.

i) Help your team stick to the usual 9 to 5

The lockdown routine is different from the pre-pandemic era. Ask your team to finish their morning chores early and get done for the day before sunset.

ii) Avoid working on day-offs and post-office hours

Sticking to stipulated office timings while working from home can be challenging. Encourage members to make a job list every morning and divide time for each task judiciously. Keep taking updates on pending tasks to inspire optimum productivity and avoid missing deadlines.

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