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Do These 4 Things to Keep Your Remote Team Focused & Happy

By: Andrew Deen

 

Virtual talking with friends, colleague and using video chat conference. Remote learning or work. Home quarantine or prevention of coronavirus infection (virus covid-19). Group of people smart working

As COVID-19 continues to take its toll on our ability to work regularly (among many other things), maximizing productivity in a remote work setting is now essential to keeping many businesses afloat. Even when orders are lifted and offices are allowed to work at full capacity, many employees are going to have the same question: “I worked from home then, and did great, why can’t I now?”

In order to get ahead of that curve, it’s important to keep employees happy, focused, and utilize web-based tools to get the most out of remote work settings.

Encourage Healthy Minds

Without daily interactions, it is can be difficult to recognize if your team members are staying in the right head spaces needed to perform at their highest levels. Performance psychology is the practice of identifying and applying psychological principles to facilitate peak performance, and though it is talked about in the sports world the most, the principles apply to any team setting.

Managing stress, increasing focus, and overcoming self-doubt are the three main branches of performance psychology, and identifying these issues in your colleagues starts by simply asking. If a workload is too much for a given employee, the stress will affect all aspects of his or her work. Simple practices like breathing exercise and relaxation methods  are successful in reducing stress, and ultimately improving work.

Increasing focus can be a huge challenge for some remote workers, and if your employees tell you they are having issues, there are a few quick tips to help get them on the right track. Having a dedicated workspace, creating a daily schedule, and even dressing like you’re in the office are great ways to make a struggling remote worker increase his or her work focus at home.

As far as tackling self-doubt, identifying the issue tends to be more difficult than fixing it, so ensuring your employees know its okay to share negative feelings is paramount. Once identified, simple (but genuine) encouragement from you, a person in power, will put the employee at ease and help nourish the needed confidence to perform at high levels.

Keep Your Own Mind Healthy, Too

Without much else to do during quarantine, entrepreneurs and others in charge of groups of people can fall into a fit of work addiction. In the short-term, it means a lot of stuff is going to get done, but in the long term, it can lead to putting employees into positions mentioned above, like stress and an inability to feel accomplished. Work addiction can be especially harmful when working from home, as your family will wonder where you are mentally, even if you’re 10 feet away all day.

Work addiction can even be thought to be a “cure,” for anxiety, stress, and fear of failure, but ultimately it is just a mask for those things, and is something that needs to be addressed for you, your family, and your employees. If you feel yourself slipping into a non-stop work spiral, take a step back and reset your expectations.

Being a good friend, family member, or mentor can be a great way to continue “doing,” but not only “doing” for yourself or your company. Creating your own healthy workplace, and knowing that there is always a time to shut everything off will help keep your mind straight, and maintain the ever-important work-life balance that is needed for the longevity of any business.

Utilize Web-based Tools

When you and your employees find the happy medium of performing at home while keeping a positive mindset, it’s time to work smarter, not harder. Virtual office programs like Slack allow for video-based team meetings, live chats that can go to workers’ computers, phones, and tablets, and just an overall feeling of being closer than you actually are. Videoconferencing tools for folks outside of those you employ make it easy to still have meetings in the time of COVID-19. Zoom has made big waves lately, but Google Meet and GoToMeeting are also good options, depending on your needs.

There are also plenty of line-of-business-specific tools, so be sure to search around the web for [your company’s product here] online utilization. Some examples include collaborative creativity mediums like InVision, or software development tools like GitHub that allow programmers to work simultaneously on the same project, no matter where they may be located.

When the Time is Right, Still Get Together Occasionally

It’s wasn’t that rare to see companies that were completely devoid of a brick-and-mortar establishment before coronavirus, and once forced into situations where remote work was the only option, more and more companies will likely follow this mold. If yours is one of them, it’s still important to round up the troops from time to time, even if it’s just for fun.

Ultimately, being flexible and understanding in the rapidly growing world of remote work will ensure your employees want to hang around, and utilizing the endless resources available to make remote work easier will make sure they can work to their full potentials.

Published: April 30, 2020
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Andrew Deen

Andrew Deen has been a consultant for startups in almost every industry from retail to medical devices and everything in between. He implements lean methodology and is currently writing a book about scaling up business. Twitter @AndrewDeen14.

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