The COVID-19 pandemic has set back businesses as they need to recalculate their entire system while trying to keep everything normal. A big part of this process is maintaining productivity, while the greater part of the office is working from home.
Supervising and motivating employees in an office requires hard work, especially if everyone is in a different space. People have to consider each other’s well-being, as well as support one another the same way as if they were in the same room.
The number one obstacle to tackle is communication. Constant and clear communication is crucial in any office environment. But now that everyone is scattered around the country, possibly crossing time-zones, this element of the workplace is jeopardized. Employees need to know that they can reach out when in need, and they need constant communication from upper management as well. This way everyone knows what the situation is in both places, and they can assist one another when needed.
Having a well-established method for communication can avoid panic and lost projects. It can have a recognizable boost in productivity and overall mood while working.
What makes people feel motivated if not the feeling that they’re a part of something bigger? Let everyone know about the processes and plans of the future, let them gain insight into what’s going on, that way they’ll feel like they have a say in it, and will feel more confident while working.
It’s also very important to stay organized. A big part of motivation and productivity is working as a team. This has its setbacks when people are not in the same space. Offices need to create a virtual creative space, and a wider filing system so employees feel like they’re still in charge of their projects. This system needs to be one because if everyone uses a different platform or mode of communication, it will get out of hand very soon.
In an office, it’s easy to make yourself feel at home. After days, weeks, anyone can navigate themselves through all the shelves, nooks, and crannies in a big office. But when this office becomes your home, and instead of printing and packing and folding, the main way of working becomes editing, scanning, and typing, it can be very frustrating, and everyone needs time to readjust to the new system of things. It’s very important to have a reliable system and to be patient.
Motivation and Fun
Another way to boost productivity is by making it fun. Sitting alone by a desk and staring at a screen all day with the occasional boring conference calls is not fun. But that’s okay. Make the employees more active, schedule more brainstorming sessions, include them in decisions, motivate them to be more productive.
And lastly, give them some freedom. Everyone has a different way of being productive. Within healthy limits, of course, let them have a say in their work environment. Maybe someone wants to check up with their supervisor more often, while others would rather grind alone. Talk to everyone about what they need, and check in regularly about the process of the projects. This way they are in control of how they work and can be productive in their own way.
Adjusting the offices to a home-office lifestyle seems nearly impossible, but you only need to tweak a few things here and there. The filing system, the platforms, and communication are the only things to focus on, don’t create panic by working on more than is necessary. In these uncertain times, we all need to do what the absolute priority is to keep the business alive. A big part of this is also trusting the process and rolling with the punches. Each day a new obstacle shows up, it’s very important to know how to adjust to these setbacks at a moment’s notice. And remember: no one expects magic to happen in a situation like this.