Project management skills have always included the ability to adapt to changes but the Coronavirus pandemic has seen unprecedented commercial change like never before; especially in regards to the way people work. Endless rule changes regarding social distancing, travel, and health and safety procedures (whilst put in place to restrict the virus from spreading) have the knock-on effect of restricting many employees from carrying out their jobs pre-COVID-19 style.
With offices and workspaces remaining understaffed or even empty due to teams working remotely and this scenario looking to be the norm for quite some time – how do you ensure you make the transition to being an effective digital manager? It is no wonder, therefore, that project managers attempting to navigate this new work ecosystem are looking for guidance on how to adapt themselves AND their workforce who may be located all over the globe.
PM courses can help you understand that previous models of management used to predict and incorporate changes now have to be altered because we are dealing with scenarios not previously encountered. With normal routines being thrown out the window; health is taking precedence over wealth and new habits need to be formed and brought into line with the current reality of working alongside COVID-19.
Working from home can be an isolating experience and so the most important thing is to focus on collaboration with staff feeling like they are still in regular touch and working as a cohesive team. It is also necessary to make wellbeing a priority as a lack of previously engrained routines can quickly lead to a downward spiral of negative behaviors and unhealthy employees are not going to be capable of producing truly healthy work. The helpful advice in order to meet these two criteria include:-
- Staying healthy
Suggest that employees stay hydrated, eat healthily, stand up, and move around from their desks regularly, exercise at or from home and get a good night’s sleep.
- Employing self-care
Suggest that employees remain in a personal routine as much as possible which includes taking care of their physical appearance; bathing and shaving, their emotional health; meditating or guided relaxation, and keeping up their motivation levels in order to maintain these habits.
- Maintaining focus
It is easy to lose focus with endless emails and instant messages but virtual employees still need to dig deep in order to produce quality work. Setting a schedule with set breaks and having a dedicated working area can help with this.
- Engaging productively
As a PM, you still need to be there for your team members whilst still being able to trust them to get on with the job at hand. Less is often more in terms of meetings and digital managers need to be wary of “overwhelm”. Setting up well planned and executed virtual meetings where everyone has a say will engage staff more effectively than regular interruptions.