Evan Waechter, Manager of People and Culture

 

It’s no secret that the Coronavirus pandemic is on everyone’s mind right now. It’s being talked about on every news outlet, and by now, you’ve probably taken some sort of action to prepare for the possible effects this virus may have on your everyday life. It’s important to protect yourself and your family, but it’s neither expected, nor ideal for business to come to a halt during this period of time.

Here at PowerChord, we made the decision to close our St. Petersburg headquarters and switch to a temporary remote-only work environment. For other businesses doing the same, below are a few recommendations we have to keep your company culture thriving and promote a productive workplace (out of the workplace):

Engagement is going to be key! It is hard enough to engage employees in the office, but having them all remote is going to make this more difficult. Think of fun ways to engage with your team. Yesterday we had a “Mobile Monday” shoutout, having our teams share their current work from home space to the group. See instagram.com/powerchordinc for the finished product! Other engagement ideas we will be using, and definitely recommend:

  1. Using an instant message system to create groups for fun conversations and chats (work appropriate of course)
  2. Virtual happy hours! It is always fun to sit with your team after work and have a cold one; why not take it online? Call and conference your colleagues when you can.
  3. Bi-weekly newsletters with ideas on how to stay sane at home. Ours will be going out Wednesday and Friday, including recommended stretches, workouts from home, crafty recipes with what you have in your kitchen, a pet of the week, and so much more.
  4. Do not stop recognition. Though your process may have changed, people want to feel special and important; and you are the primary person to help with this. Show them they are amazing even when they are not right in front of you. Email them, use your recognition tools, send virtual gift cards for use at a later time.
  5. Communicate with them always. There is no such thing as over communication when you are completely virtual. People need to feel connected (both introverts and extroverts), so making sure they are aware of plans and the things going on within the organization is key.

Encourage productive work spaces. Have you tried working while a million other things are happening at once? Working from home can cause some issues for distraction, and in the midst of everything going on your team doesn’t need to be any more distracted:

  1. Encourage employees to wake up and start each day as if they were heading into the office. Although it may seem fun to sit around in your pajamas all day, you’ll be the most productive when you set a daily routine for yourself.
  2. If you can, find a room separate from your bedroom or living room so your work life doesn’t mesh into your living space.
  3. Make sure you clean your house or apartment the night before so you’re not distracted during work hours.

If you’re experienced at working from home, what other tips do you have for a and productive work day?