Times are stressful right now. People don’t like uncertainty, yet we are in the midst of the most uncertain times in recent history. How is it possible to reassure them when you may be as unsure as your employees? All you can really do is help them to develop coping strategies. Share these recommendations with your team to help them through the COVID-19 crisis.
Information is power, but not too much.
It’s essential to stay informed about the realities of the coronavirus. How to keep your family safe, what laws or recommendations apply, even weather updates to know the best time to go for a walk. But too much information can cause stress and anxiety. Stick to reliable news sources. Avoid social media as much as possible because it’s full of opinion and misinformation. Read local or national newspapers-many of them have taken down their paywalls for COVID-19 information. Other good sources include daily podcasts or your local news. If you read something sensational or unlikely or vague, check a few different sources before assuming it’s correct.
Make goals, but not too many.
Everyone needs a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Some have work-either at home or on-site in the case of essential personnel. Others have family or other obligations that dictate the bulk of the day. Those without work or family may be home and bored. Whatever the case, we are living in unusual circumstances. There are no pandemic best practices to fall back on. Goals can be as simple as getting outside, reading to the kids or cleaning out a drawer. Planning even just one thing to check off can help you feel like you have accomplished something at the end of the day.
Build a structure, but keep it flexible.
Those with specific work hours are ahead of the game as far as staying on track. But working without a schedule and a workplace can be a challenge for many. People are accustomed to building their days around a framework. Without one, it’s important to create one. Set aside time to exercise and build in breaks. Zoom chat with friends or colleagues or grab a snack. Check emails at specific times of the day. If homeschooling children, give them a schedule as well. Above all, be kind to yourself in this difficult time. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional Netflix binge when the workday is over.
Have expectations, but be realistic.
This is not a normal work-from-home situation. Productivity is likely to take a hit. People are sharing space with significant others who may also be working from home, parents, roommates, or children. With so many distractions, it’s not always realistic to expect them to respond quickly to emails or be fully focused. Do ask them to be honest with you about what they must deal with at home and how much they can realistically accomplish. That can alleviate their stress and allow you to rebalance workloads if needed.
Stay in touch with employees to gauge how they are doing and let them know you are available to them for work-related issues or to talk. It’s important for building employee engagement and morale. Remind them to focus on what they can control and action they can take.
Leading A Team?
For more ideas on keeping your team focused in times of uncertainty, get in touch with us! Our job is to make your job easier. Reach out today to learn how we can help.