Updated: Apr 7, 2020
I would urge all leaders of people and teams to proactively prepare to put in place provision which provides virtual psychological coaching and counselling for themselves and staff. Such provision will help employee’s cope with the changes and effects of home working and remote team working on psychological wellbeing, productivity and engagement.
The boundaries between home and work are set to become even more blurred for millions of people across the globe, as professionals are encouraged where possible to work from home to assist with the collective effort to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
Whilst working from home can offer many professionals flexibility, reduced travel time and costs, it also brings about a whole new set of factors that many leaders, managers and professionals whom are not used to prolonged periods of homeworking will experience themselves and by their teams too:
· Social isolation – for many people, going to work and being in the office provides a powerful social outlet, banter, catch ups with colleague, some have deep work friendships, and whilst for others, going to work provides an escape from their home-life too. These individuals will find it extremely lonely and challenging to be on their own or work from home for sustained periods of time, whereby they will have limited, if not any physical interactions with those they have become so accustomed to seeing each day. People will experience a sense of ‘social loss’, some more so severely than others. How as a leader and manager will you be able to foster a sense of ‘team’ and ‘togetherness’ in a virtual set up?
· Leading and managing remote teams – how will you ensure engagement, commitment, connectivity productivity and team morale remain high as your teams work from home? This may start of well, where these new arrangements are novel and provide a sense of autonomy, flexibility and newness, but as the weeks and months pass by, the reality of social isolation and loneliness will certainly be felt gravely by most. Leaders and managers will see people become less engaged, distracted, less productive and low in mood. When we know this is highly likely, it’s even more important to put in place psychological coaching and counselling now.
People Leaders – we urge you to think about these four aspects too:
How will you ensure creativity, innovation and ideas can continue? especially when it’s not possible to get a bunch of your people together into the board room around a white board to bounce ideas?
How will your people know when and whom to contact if they need support, help or simply someone to sound their ideas with, whilst doing their daily work? If mechanisms to connect frequently and consistently are not in place, many professionals will become disengaged quite quickly and then leaders and managers will have to work even harder to foster connectivity and productivity.
How best do you and the people you lead, manage time at home, balancing between personal, family and work commitments? Although some schools are not yet closed, how will your team members with children manage working from home, if their children are at home too? How can you support them to manage the psychological and emotional demands of working with children at home too?
How can you provide your team with a safe and confidential outlet to share their fears and concerns about the pandemic and how it could affect longer term work arrangements, the pipeline of future work and projects?
People Leaders, you are not alone to deal with all this. Expert psychological coaching and counselling support is available for you and your team to access now.
I am the founder and Principal Psychologist of Wellbeing Face and have over 15 years of experience in practicing as a business psychologist, consultant and coach. We provide online virtual psychological coaching and counselling to leaders and managers globally. We are highly experienced chartered business psychologists with a deep expertise in psychological wellbeing, employee engagement and leadership development. To find out more about how we can help you to rise to the leadership challenge ahead of leading remote teams and tackling the psychological impact of prolonged home-working, please contact Simi Rayat at firstname.lastname@example.org