With the growing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations have had to convert to a remote working environment with almost no preparation time.  There are several key items that managers must address as part of the transition.  The first thing managers should note is that their staff’s sense of normalcy is completely changing.  Therefore, communication could arguably be the most important aspect of the transition.  It is important that employees not feel as though they are on their own to figure out their new work environment. 

It is inevitable that adjustments will be made, so managers must be flexible and open to changes.  A change of this magnitude may cause staff to feel disconnected or alone, so managers must be even more attentive to their teams.  Also, management teams should always maintain the utmost transparency regarding all changes within their departments.  Expectations and policies should be clearly explained, and regular meetings should be immediately put in place to ensure the team stays engaged as well on the same page regarding all expectations of management. 

Managers must also ensure that a strategy is established that ensures productivity and quality remain priorities.  If one does not already exist, implement methods to monitor staff productivity and non-work activities.  Provide the feedback to staff and implement progressive disciplinary protocols for company equipment use violations.  Remember transparency is vital, so your staff should be aware of the organization’s IT monitoring procedures, privacy and confidentiality policies as well as its equipment use policies. 

As the managers work more in their new remote work environments and evaluate feedback provided, it is likely that even further adjustments will need to be made to improve communication and workflow efficiencies.