Overcoming Remote Working Challenges during Covid-19
In the meanwhile, the world is facing a health war affecting every aspect of the human’s life. Coronavirus or Covid-19 has pushed many companies and start-ups around the globe to switch to remote working which is also known as smart working. This virus obliged project managers to change their way of management and move to an advanced level that may be new to many employees, who lack to the needed skills.
Different challenges may face project managers during remote working, mainly the ability of the members to make their work remotely. Do they have the needed work infrastructure to complete their tasks? Are they able to access all the resources? The managers should guarantee the presence of all the necessary tools for every single member as no one feels that he/she is left behind. A critical challenge that will face project managers during remote working is how they are going to keep the communication channel with the team members to stay updated with the work progress on one hand, and between team members on the other hand. The communication between the project managers and their team members is much easier when they are all present in the same work location which is not the case of remote working. The project managers have to build or create a culture that enables the continuous communication to improve the interaction between team members from one side and that allows them to be integrated with their member’s progress. This can be achieved through conference calls, however sometimes the employees join the call, turn off their microphone and continue their task or maybe have a phone call. This problem can be solved from the project manager’s side to make sure that all of the members were engaged in the call through asking about their opinions and how to implement them. In addition, project managers shouldn’t forget about rewarding the most active member during remote working as paid time-off for example. This can push the team members to do their best to stay in contact with each other and interact more despite the distance. In other words, project managers have to deal or treat remote working as the real one taking place at the office. The second challenge is: how is the remote working going to affect the psychological health of the team members? How to make sure they are still focused and committed to their work? During “normal working”, team members used to have coffee breaks, have a conversation or make a phone call with their friends or family members. This have to be mapped to remote working situation through allowing the members have their private time during the day, not necessary between each other. Managers have to coach their members as mental health is necessary for work during this hard period the world is facing. A possible challenge a project manager can face during remote working is the lack of motivation of any team member especially when no one knows when this “health war” is going to end. The manager has to be aware of this issue since it will impact the whole team and will be reflected on their work results. The manager have to inspire and motivate his/her team members through celebrating success frequently or having one-to-one call instead of the face-to-face conversation. This will keep the spirit up and encourage them to perform their tasks. However, employees should also be aware of the situation they are forced into. Studies showed how the way you dress when working at home affects your productivity. It’s not “dress to impress” instead it is “dress for success “ or “smart clothes”. The way the employees dress prepares their mind and body for a working day and is able to separate the “home space” from the “work” one. (For more information you can check the link below)
This coronavirus pandemic is affecting the behavior of many organizations and companies across the globe. The managers have to be aware of the situation along with their team members to overcome this period at least without affecting their outcome.
Published at pmmagazine.net with the consent of Aya Moheddine