Turn Social Distancing in to Distant Socializing

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Maybe your organization has long experience with employees: agents and managers and management working from home.  maybe your organization has been keeping work at home at arm’s length, fearing to “let the genie out of the bottle,” worried about the risk of changed employee expectations, reduced productivity, loss of culture, and other risks related to security and community.

Now we are facing a worldwide community health crisis, work at home is very suddenly a reality for some organizations.  It is important to tackle the risks and positive possibilities of this type of work as soon as possible.

First, deliberately plan specific time into work schedules for communication.  Unstructured collaboration time, where significant amounts of innovation, as well as your organization’s community, arises, is virtually gone with work at home and must be structured and replaced deliberately.  Time at lunch, around the water cooler, etc is now effectively gone.

Your corporates culture is of great importance:  keeping your employees focused on the same goals, aligned with your organization’s mission and customer needs, giving your employees a sense of purpose and worth, and a set of guiding principles which reduce the need for “employee policing” type practices, your organizing literally is people, it is nothing without it.

The impact on your corporate culture of working from home a few days a week is radically different than working from home five days a week for weeks at a time.

Use workforce management to schedule 15 minutes for each employee, every single day, for supervisors to spend with each employee, use video if at all possible.  This loss in productivity is worth it to keep your teams functional and healthy.  If individual time is not possible, hold a daily team meeting, with video if at all possible, where each employee gets a few moments to speak.

The effort invested in keeping your culture alive, sharing what is working and what is not working with what may potentially be a new work at home reality for your organization, will pay off and keep productivity levels up, and more importantly, keep employee mental health and sense of purpose and feeling of worth moving forward to the benefit of your teams, your organization’s mission and your customers.

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