How To Manage Your Team and Adjust to the New Normal
No one, not even the highly developed countries, was prepared when the pandemic hit the world. As early as February of 2020, borders and businesses shut down one by one, as recommended by health experts. Government agencies employed skeletal workforces, employees were sent to work from home, and sadly, several businesses had to lay off their best people.
That was a year ago. Now, countries are starting to let businesses operate again. In some places, people are allowed to visit restaurants for takeout, and kids can also go back to school. Of course, nothing is ever the same.
Even before the pandemic hit, workers struggled to aim for a healthy work-life balance. But now that organizations have been forced to look at the possibility of moving some — if not all — operations into a Work From Home (WFH) setup, new issues emerge.
As homes are turned into offices, concerns that were once separate from the office are now in the same plane. There are kids who want to play, urgent chores that can disrupt meetings, and connection issues. The ‘new normal’ will compel organizations to look at how their work culture can transcend beyond four walls.
This is a time when collaboration is crucial, especially for employees with unique challenges in a remote setup (e.g. single parents). Management should also take into account the use of new tools, like Zoom or Slack. And since most are online, we need to set certain boundaries. For instance: just because someone has the bandwidth to respond to work anytime outside office hours, doesn’t mean they should.
Empathy in this time of crisis remains an important tool for productivity. When people know their management cares, they are more motivated to bring their best to the table. Managing teams in the new normal require new internal controls. However, operations in WFH set up also require trust; trust that employees are as concerned as the employers in the business, and are working just as hard without their bosses looking.
This article is originally published in dailyguardian.com last May 27, 2020.