Working and Managing Employees Remotely during COVID-19

As we try to flatten the curve of COVID-19 spread, those of us who can work from home are doing so in record numbers. But keeping teams collaborating and thriving from remote locations is tricky in the best of times. Leadership coach and USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Adjunct Professor Scott Darrell has tips for how leaders and employees can effectively work from home without too much stress.

Check in regularly

Leaders and employees alike should reach out more frequently to their fellow team members. Darrell suggests that everyone assess their “normal” level of communication at work and increase it by 20%. Reaching out to others and asking “How’s your day going?” can help everyone feel engaged and valued. Make it even more personal with a video or voice call instead of the usual text or email.

Listen more

Everyone is stressed. One of the best ways we can help team members and employees feel less anxious, fearful or angry is by listening to them. Take a few moments at the beginning of each call to check-in on their wellbeing. You may find there is action you can take to help them, but even if you do not, you will have given them time and space to process emotions and made the virtual workspace more human.

Ask for help

Darrell is offering free drop-in group coaching sessions through CareerPQ to help leaders develop strategies to remain productive while working remotely. This includes stress management and tips on how to build connections virtually.


Managing Job Searches, Job Uncertainty During COVID-19

Spring is the time of year when many students on the cusp of graduating are looking for jobs—an uneasy time no matter what. Add in the general concern about the COVID-19 outbreak emergency and the impacts to the economy and job market and you have a recipe for massive anxiety.

Focus on “I Can” not “I Can’t”

Darrell says that one way to cope with the stress and worry is to think about the things in your life you can control, not the things you can’t. This week and the next are not likely to be times when people are focusing on hiring for new jobs unless they are essential. So take this time to think about things you can do to enhance your marketability and skills so you are ready when the economy recovers. Conduct research about potential employers, brush up on skills or polish your resume.

Take Care of Yourself

Take time for yourself. Create a routine for your days. Take a walk. Read a book. If you already practice good self-care, take it up a notch and do 20% more of the activities that make you feel good. You will get through this!

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