Make remote work more productive and engaging for employees with empathetic, but practical actions. Large numbers of employees now work remotely, and it is too late to develop a set of remote work policies if you did not already have one. But there are ways to make the remote work experience productive and engaging for employees and the organisation. In most businesses, scenario planning focuses on the necessary operational answers to ensure business continuity. HR should help managers with concrete actions to ensure employees receive the necessary support to tackle the emotional roller coaster of this crisis and are productive and engaged.

Be in search of signs of distress in your workers – use both, direct discussions and indirect observations to get visibility in workers challenges and concerns. Use every opportunity to make clear to workers that you support them and take care of them. To facilitate regular conversations between supervisors and employees, provide managers with guidance on how best to approach very sensitive subjects rising from the COVID-19 pandemic, including alternative operating models, work safety and prospects, impact on staffing and disputes at work. Equip employees – make employees have the technology they need to achieve success, which can be more than merely a mobile phone and laptop. For instance, if you expect employees to attend virtual meetings, do they’ve adequate cameras? Even when you do not have a complete set of technologies and collaborative tools available, you can equip employees to function efficiently. But do not just assume that individuals know how to operate with virtual communications or are comfortable in that environment.

Remote management can feel like a totally different challenge than managing people you work side by side with. Things that work in an office don’t always translate exactly to remote employees.

Use these tips to be more conscious of the unique approaches you should take to managing remote employees.