As we find ourselves in an ever-evolving situation with Covid-19, professionals and business owners need support to focus their minds on what’s important to get through this tough time.  It is a confusing and overwhelming time, while we all do our bit to prioritise public health, try to adapt business interactions to meet social restriction guidelines, and keep employees motivated. 

In the midst of this ever-evolving situation, which is very concerning and distracting for us all right now, we need to regain focus, firstly on keeping ourselves and those around us safe, and then focusing on supporting ourselves and our teams to stay motivated. 

While most of us are restricted to working from home, with distractions of social media, and other media reports, it is almost impossible to avoid conversation on Covid-19.  This is causing anxiety, overwhelm and uncertainty for many in relation to their health, jobs and businesses.

We all need a purpose, which for many, making a positive contribution in our jobs is a big part of this.  In the current environment, this can be taken away from us.  Even though you may still have your job, you are working from home, which may not bring the motivation and enthusiasm you need to stay on purpose.   

Whether you are managing a team remotely, or you are now working remotely as part of a team, here are 5 steps to help you and your team stay focused, and to be the best you can be at this time. 

  1. Self-care:  This is the most important step.  You need to take care of yourself during this time, when your ‘normal’ routine is gone out the window.  We now need to create a new routine, to ensure we eat well, exercise, and stay connected with friends and family through phone and other technology.  Encourage your team to do the same, so that you can more easily adjust with your remote team. 
  2. Daily Check-in:  Have a daily check-in with your team.  Focus on how people are coping and if there is anything you can do to support each other as team members.  It is important that we support people at a human-level.  How can you help team members to prioritise and focus, so that they do not get overwhelmed with staying on top of work, while adjusting to working remotely?
  3. Empathy:  Be patient and flexible, as many working from home have children in the background and will not be as productive as usual.  Working hours may need to be flexible to support people to work at times when they can be more focused and productive.  Talk to your team, and ask them what works best so they can feel productive and in control.   
  4. Communicate:  Keep your team up to date on company policy in relation to working from home and if there is flexibility to come to the office.  Give people certainty, as far as possible, on what is happening in your business in response to this crisis.  Being as transparent as possible is appreciated by employees.  Be honest, and if you don’t know the answer to questions, just say it.  Nobody has all the answers in this ever-evolving situation. 
  5. Mental Health:  After a period of time working from home, some people will get more anxious and potentially overwhelmed, as they miss the office community and proximity to team members.  What practical steps can you reasonably take now to support your team’s mental health?              

Maintaining connection with your team, being open and transparent, and putting measures in place to support people’s health will keep your team together, while you build a stronger and motivated remote team.