The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted business in a manner that nobody could have predicted. Millions of staff members have moved to remote working arrangements and subsequently, this has pushed Managers into a position in which they are expected to virtually manage remote teams – which can be daunting for a leader that has never done this before. A large portion of Employees are feeling anxious and isolated at the moment, which makes a Manager’s role all the more important. Employees will expect (and need) a greater level of support and reassurance during this troubling period, so to help we’ve listed some examples of the best ways to lead your team while social distancing.

  • Keep employees updated

Even if there is no new information to update Employees on, being transparent and regularly sharing information is key. The main reason for this is that a lack of dialogue and uncertainty can result in anxiety. Communication is of central importance during this challenging period, so keep dialogue straight forward and consistent. In order to manage anxiety, leaders must give concise and easily actionable advice at regular intervals. At the same time, don’t overload your teams with updates. Keep them fresh and relevant, share the most up-to-date advice and avoid any contradictions to ensure that neither complacency nor panic set in.

  • Effective communication

Communicating regularly and effectively with remote teams is crucial throughout this challenging period. Managers should take advantage of the plethora of virtual messaging platforms and video conferencing services on offer to stay in touch with colleagues. Managers should ensure that no employee feels left out or isolated, so organising frequent team talks where all staff members are required to be present and give their input is crucial.

  • Debunking potentially deadly coronavirus rumours

While it is important to facilitate work-related conversation, many Employers have recognised the importance of conducting fun conference calls to keep engagement up. We host a lunchtime Zoom call where staff can participate in a quiz so that employees don’t have to eat lunch alone.

  • Support continued learning but make sure it’s engaging

Upskilling employees is an important priority for all Employers. Whilst this learning might usually take place in a physical office environment, learning and development shouldn’t suddenly stop because of this new remote working arrangement. It is crucial that Employers invest and deploy virtual learning opportunities for staff, with sessions possibly covering different skills, tools or behaviours. They could be led by a different employee, start off with a short discussion about the topic matter to boost engagement with the learning, introduce videos with experts, quizzes or interactive workshops