30 March, 2020 | Rebecca East

Social Isolation: impact on productivity

Did you have viral pandemic in your 5-year business growth forecasts? No, neither did we.

It is frightening to feel out of control, but while there are things we can’t plan for or change, there are others that we can get a grip on and do something about. One of those is how you manage your workforce through a challenging time, to make sure your business and teams stay intact, happy and engaged.

That, we can help with.

Last week, we looked at the impact that social isolation can have on employee mindset as the work remotely, in challenging circumstances. Assessing mindset – and helping people overcome mental and emotional difficulties of isolation – is the first step to improving productivity, but managers will also need to look at the more practical, work-related challenges impacting productivity in isolation.

Here are a few practical steps that managers can take to improve productivity in isolation.

  1. Communicate clear goals: Make daily and weekly objectives clear and achievable. Ensure that a wider sense of purpose isn’t lost now that teams are separated from the central hub of the workplace, by keeping employees updated on the bigger picture and their role in the company as a whole.

  2. Team motivation: Encourage the team to motivate each other, rather than relying on managers. Share goals, discuss projects, and try to connect those who naturally thrive from home with those struggling to self-motivate.

  3. Assess individual needs: As time goes on, some people may find it harder to stay productive and may feel the effects of isolation: stress, anxiety, sleeplessness. Make sure you find time for regular one to ones, and dig deeper to find out what they really need. Some may crave more structure, others greater flexibility to adjust.

  4. Recognise and reward: Rewarding achievements is going to be more difficult with a remote team, especially those small gestures like buying a coffee round or treating a team to lunch after a project. But it’s important to find ways to call out achievements and make people feel recognised for doing a good job.

A performance management platform can help you review teams’ changing performance objectives and assess the impact isolation is having on their productivity. If you’d like to talk through how your OpenBlend tool can help during this time, or would like information on setting up a new OpenBlend platform remotely, call us on 01628 613 040 or email hello@openblend.com.

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OpenBlend Reaching Objectives Infographic