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Some ways to manage virtual teams you have employed to maintain productive working conditions for your team during the lockdown
Remote work or work from home (WFH) is not the future of work but it is the present. Like me, there are many people who have moved temporarily – from being on site or office workers to remote workers owing to the circumstances that we are facing.
I am from the hotel industry which has been people-centric from time immemorial and I could never imagine WFH for this industry. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are exposed to many challenges. And to deal with them we all are required to follow social distancing, which has become the need of the hour. When you are going through such times you are exposed to several new concerns.
For some industries and certain professions WFH has been a part of their functioning. But for jobs like mine – I am a professor and a trainer it is completely a new ball game. It’s a new experience and the last couple of months have been like a clean slate that was waiting to be filled in.
At my work place, the Apeejay Institute if Hospitality, our principal advised us to utilise the time to take up online courses, make new training programmes, write research papers, work on student assignments. And to handle any counselling or assistance that the our current or prospective students may require. Also to be available on phone and emails for office communication. It is an engaging and fruitful directive that all of us are following. The first area of study I could think of was the remote work itself and I have worked on a research paper.
I got into the WFH mode first by drafting guidelines for my colleagues who were also new to this opportunity that was thrown at us. Then, I shared it with others on hospitality forum thinking that it might come handy for all those who are new to this inevitable concept at the moment. Who knows some of the pointers discussed here may end up becoming the way forward as it is said that, ‘Necessity is the mother of invention!’ These guidelines will help build the discipline required for remote working.
Remember it’s not a holiday but time for you to function with new ideas and functions. Use online tools/ media for communication and learning. Social media can be put to good use by all in their respective roles and functions.
Almost all organisations are holding virtual meetings, learning sessions as well as training programmes are also being conducted through these platforms. People are taking up online courses to up-skill themselves; some are developing hobbies and discovering their passions.
Webinars have become an integral part of our lives – both personal and professional. Many interesting ones are held that people can join either free or with a fee. Almost all businesses are reaching out to their employees and customers, maintaining the bond or building renewed trust with them.
Organisations are also conducting fun events and virtual parties to keep the employee morale high. They are utilising their free time engaging in connecting with others and just letting their hair down. People are inventive, they find ways in all situations no matter what.
Work is happening as it used to earlier, and teams are being productive from their remote locations. But it’s not about just work, it’s more about moving out of their homes and being into the ‘work mode’ completely. That was possible when people left homes to go to their offices it was the much needed change; the change of environment. The routine that they followed added to their productivity and wellbeing.
Now everything is done from home. And some of us may not be so disciplined to move by clock work. We also need to manage home, carry our daily chores and take care of children or elderly if they are a part of the family. With domestic help or care givers not being around, professionals need to manage the home front as well. This adds to the stress that they are undergoing.
Many people are facing salary cuts and there is constant fear of job losses. Organisations need to take care of their employees during such times and employees on the other hand need to be available to fulfil organisational commitments.
It is time to actually practice teamwork, motivation and organisational communication in the real sense. This is a situation we all need to face ‘head on’ and together. Such times have come and mankind has sustained it coming out a winner. This too shall take us there to be the winner, we all must hang in there, be vigilant and safe!
Picture credits: Pexels
Laxmi Todiwan - Founder Indian Women in Hospitality. She is a Professor, Corporate Trainer, Motivational Speaker
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