When you got that well-earned promotion at work, many years ago now, you could never expect the huge changes that a global pandemic would bring. The 2020 coronavirus crisis transformed our workplace significantly almost overnight.
Businesses around the world had to swiftly adapt to huge, unforeseen challenges—remote working being the biggest one. Just like that, you were suddenly in a brand new position, too. You had to lead, motivate, and connect with a team of people who were now working from many different locations, at a different speed, and with different outcomes.
And because remote working now seems to be on the cards for a while, you’ll need to up your leadership game. How? Read on to find out some of the best leadership tips for the age of the Zoom office, and beyond.
Cut Your Team (and Yourself) Some Slack
The first rule of this new working environment is: be patient. Everything still feels new and unusual to all of us, yourself included. So, learn to appreciate that people might find it hard and take longer to adjust to the “new normal”.
Remember: most of your employees are currently acting as homeschoolers, workers, chefs, and cleaners. There is a lot of pressure on people from all angles already, without adding work-related stresses. If you manage to fine-tune your expectations, then you’re already on the road to becoming a better leader.
Try to Keep Everything as “Business as Usual” as Possible
Because many people are probably struggling to settle into this new reality, it might be a good idea to keep work things as “normal” as possible. Did you use to have weekly team meetings? Then, keep scheduling them.
Were brainstorming sessions with your creatives a thing, back in the pre-Covid era? There’s no reason why you should stop having them now. Maintaining some form of normality will allow your workforce to slowly but surely find their feet and feel more comfortable.
Consider Your Staff’s Mental Health Needs
Although we don’t know yet what the long-term effects of the pandemic will be, there is already some evidence around mental health. COVID-19 has had huge impacts on the mental health of many, and this could apply to your employees, too.
If you know that some of your staff members are suffering from bad mental wellbeing, or if some of them have lost loved ones to the virus, you’ll do good to check in with them frequently. A good leader has the wellbeing of their employees always in mind, so this should be one of your priorities.
Practice What You Preach
AKA: lead by example. The best leaders are those who can inspire others by following up their words with tangible facts and actions. So, make sure that you practice what you preach: take care of yourself (physically and mentally), create a productive home office, remember to take well-deserved breaks, and communicate effectively.
Allow for Some Down-Time
Speaking of breaks: you’ll want to make sure that your employees get into the habit of taking regular breaks throughout their working day. All too often, working from home can lead people to clock in many extra hours, but this can end up being counterproductive and burning people out.
You could schedule virtual coffee breaks every day, and virtual (boozy or not) hangouts every Monday and Friday, to kick off and kick out the week, and stay on top of how everyone is doing.
Remember Promotions, Praises, and Awards
Just because you are now all working from home, it doesn’t mean that promotions and pay raises are out of the question. In fact (if your new budget allows, that is), this might be an even more crucial time to hand out praises and awards to your most accomplished employees.
Make it a big deal, perhaps scheduling a video conference with your whole team and praising a specific employee’s achievements. Not only will this make them feel on top of the world (and enable you to retain their all-important talent), it will also inspire others to perform even better in the future.
Stay up-to-Date With the Latest Tech and Business Trends
This might sound pretty obvious, especially if you’re a tech-head, but a great leader in the era of the Zoom office is one that stays in the loop with the best and newest technology. So, keep doing your research, read up on the current (and forecasted) business trends, and find creative ways to incorporate them into your new virtual office.
Encourage People to Speak Up
Leadership communication skills are essential to make you a recognized and respected leader. So, hone into your ability to engage with people, listen to what they have to say, and encourage them to speak their mind, especially if they are having any particular issues, either at home or within their new office environment.
Become the Best Possible Leader You Can Be With Our Leadership Tips
The year just gone has no doubt been super-challenging for business leaders around the world. If you’re one of them, follow our leadership tips to supercharge your potential and become a leader fit for these uncertain times.
Remember that we’re all only human, and these huge changes are affecting us in different ways. Be patient, determined, and open to communicating with your employees, find new (and old) ways to engage with them and don’t forget to acknowledge their achievements.
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