We have entered into a new normal ‚Äì thank you, COVID-19 (the first of its kind, if you‚Äôre keeping track).
For me, a leader on the greener side, navigating new leadership is hard enough. Due to the state of the world we now add in the layer of remote leadership, YAY! There‚Äôs nothing like a good old fashion challenge, and like any of my #KinetixCompadres, I say CHALLENGE ACCEPTED *cue best Barney Stinson impression*
Here in ATL, we are about one month into our quarantine. That means that we:
- Got through that very first week of ‚ÄúWhat the heck am I doing? What day is it?‚Äù
- Are used to some sort of routine (wake up, coffee, office, couch, table, lunch, office, couch, table, office, bed ‚Äì repeat)
- Past the 21 days of breaking into our ‚Äúnew normal‚Äù (see 21 days to form a habit)
With all the personal kinks of working from home full-time ironed out, how can we make the best out of this situation? With the world changing quickly, how are we being the best leaders to our teams?
Here‚Äôs 3 tips for remote leadership in the time of COVID-19.
We wouldn‚Äôt have teleworking opportunities without our technology. Leveraging the technology that your company has is a vital piece in remote management. Utilizing project management tools like Microsoft Planner is the best way to set expectations, goals, and deadlines and makes it easy to track all deliverables and make sure they are sent to the client/candidate/internal stakeholder.
It‚Äôs not only about the project management tools, it‚Äôs also about your communication tools! The days of getting up and walking over to a team member is in the rearview momentarily, and using communication tools like Slack, Ring Central, or Teams is key in keeping everyone together and connected.
Don‚Äôt forget ‚Äì when meeting with your team, make sure that the video options are turned on! That‚Äôs right, peeps, this is the best reason to wake up, do your hair (option to wear a hat) and get some FaceTime with your people.
If you don‚Äôt have communication tools, check out these companies giving free trials right now!
Establish Professional Trust and Flexibility
As mentioned, there is no way to get up and wander over and check-in on your team members. Establishing trust is key in making sure that the newly remote team is going to be successful. Flexibility comes with this trust; everyone works differently. This does not mean that the team member is actively online playing Call of Duty while answering phone calls, no, but it means flexibility in work hours ‚Äì maybe later hours from 10am ‚Äì 7pm if that makes sense for the person, or allowing an extra 30 minutes during lunch to get in a yoga flow (our mental health is definitely taking a toll on us all!)
There isn‚Äôt many places a team member can go during this quarantine, so taking into consideration how your team member works best will go a long way, so long as the project/work does not suffer!
Remote Social Activities
Loneliness is a big factor in remote work ‚Äì and now that we (literally) cannot go anywhere, this is being magnified on a daily basis. We are all missing those informal chitchats around the coffee machine in the mornings and the post-lunch ruminations about Tiger King in the afternoon (Carole Baskin fed her husband to those tigers). The extroverts on your team will probably be suffering the most from this, so having the opportunity for social interactions is important in keeping the team connected.
The Kinetix Marketing team holds Morning Coffee Chats every morning at 9AM. This is the time to just talk about whatever non-work-related topics we want. What did Brand Coordinator Maggie make for her Epcot Around the World dinner yesterday? How many books did our Marketing Lead, Ashley, order to keep her sane? How many funko-pops does Video Editor Jeremy really have? Did our Web Developer, Liam, win that last Magic: The Gathering game?
Having these types of social gatherings in the morning for coffee or in the afternoon for happy hour ‚Äì of whenever you think is best for your team ‚Äì is an easy way to stay connected and still feel like a full, functioning team.
Obviously, there are more tips to be found as we move through our newly remote world, like managing ‚ÄúWork From Home Guilt‚Äù (it is stress awareness month, after all) and finding the best ways to stay motivated at home. I personally think that the world is leaning into the technology that we have. Just think; twenty years ago, we wouldn‚Äôt be able to do this. I ultimately believe that we will all become better from this.