When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.—Henry Ford

When will it end? We’re talking about COVID-19 and the impacts to the workplace, and especially to people. Attitudes are wearing thin, motivation is suffering, and not having the ability to function “normally” is taking a toll.

What are you noticing in your workplace? What about in yourself?

In April, IBM polled 25,000+ U.S. adults to assess how COVID-19 and the need to work from home impacted them.

  • 75% said they would like to continue to work from home at least partially
  • 40% of respondents felt it should be an option

Before COVID-19, Video company Owl Labs conducted a study of 1200 workers and found the following benefits:

  • Full-time remote workers reported being happy in their jobs 22% more than workers who never worked remotely
  • Working remotely provided a better work-life balance (91%)
  • Productivity was increased/there was better focus (79%)
  • Less stress (78%)
  • Less daily travel (78%)
  • 43% (by choice) worked more hours than non-remote workers.

So, there is some positive news, but as leaders, how does this impact us?

Leading teams virtually is not new for some, but it does require new leadership skills. Gone are the days of impromptu face to face meetings, walking the floor to assess the pulse of the team, and having an open door policy to encourage communication.

We suggest:

  • Block out time in your calendar for brief check-ins (these are in addition to your regular one on one update sessions)
  • Conduct daily team briefings (no longer than 10 minutes) allowing for immediate needs to be high-lighted. Those involved/impacted can schedule additional time for next steps.
  • Hold weekly team meetings to discuss accomplishments, goal progress/roadblocks, and any resource issues. Encourage “on camera” attendance and plan for 60-90 minutes.

For something new:

  • Ask each team member to share a favorite leadership quote, or to identify a leader they respect, and why
  • Build time for relationship building:
  • What’s new personally?
  • Weddings, births, graduations, etc
  • Any favorite TV shows/series or movies to recommend?
  • Desired travel (once restrictions are lifted)

    When will it end? We have no idea as to COVID-19, but working remotely may continue to grow, so as leaders it’s up to us to help others adapt and thrive. Let us know what’s working well for you.

Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.—Bernice Johnson Reagon, Composer