You would have to be a robot (or a chatbot) to not realize that your team is most likely starting to feel the effects of Remote Work Fatigue.
Either they have or they are on their way to feeling it.
These are one of those moments in your role as being a leader that you will forever remember how you responded and helped your team work through this milieu.
For many it is starting to set in that they probably won’t be back in the office for a few more months, maybe more. In which case, they have more of looking at the dirty dishes in the sink or listening to their dog bark at every sound that goes by outside.
You have two options.
The first is to keep plowing ahead as if nothing is happening and see what happens.
Best of luck.
The second, is to realize you need to do something.
I’ve heard many suggestions from a number of people so if you’re looking for ideas, here are some;
- Give a paid day off, yes a vacation, a mental one. Don’t do it on a Friday or a Monday, do it during the week to give people a break. Better yet, maybe break it up into two half-days – give thanks for all they have done.
- Whatever your chat app du jour is, if you’re not praising your team or giving them shout-outs to everyone else for the great work they are doing, then it’s time to start, because this is the boost that can help them get through the day and over that next hump.
- Organize a field trip. How do you do this? Tell everyone to take their laptops outside for the next call. They’ll still get wifi and it’s a change of pace from sitting in your basement over and over again.
- Those Zoom and Teams backgrounds? Do something funny? I did one the other day where I had beeker from the muppets staring at me the whole time. When someone had a question, I turned around and asked Beeker what he thought. It got a few laughs, and that’s all we need.
- If your project is going late, reinforce with those looking at the numbers that it could be way, way, way worst. Deep down they know it. Now is exactly the time to take your foot off the pedal.
We all have different styles of leadership, we all lead differently. Depending on your team, getting together on a call to talk spaceships might be the recharge that they need. So be it, facilitate it and make it happen.
They need you more than you think they do to get over this hump, and doing some of the above, just might help you get over it as well.