Advice for Responding to Emergencies as a Dispersed Team

In these unprecedented times, businesses across the globe are required to adapt to new circumstances during the current pandemic crisis. One of the top priorities for organisations is to sustain productivity by building remote teams, which can be a challenging process, as managers need to handle mundane and urgent tasks of teams working from varied locations. Bill Peatman offers an effective solution to address this issue, by developing a staff augmentation strategy that ensures team scalability. This approach is highly advantageous for organisations, particularly during crises, as it provides a robust foundation for dealing with unexpected disruptions.

To aid both newcomers and experienced personnel in your team to be prepared for unfavourable situations, we offer the following tips:

  1. Eliminate any obstacles to inter-member communication.

    For remote working to be effective, it is essential for every team member to be aligned with a common objective. According to a Harvard Business Review article on contingency planning, it is crucial to evaluate the team’s familiarity with video conferencing applications and other online platforms so that anyone who requires training can receive it. It is essential to allocate time for your team to familiarise themselves and adapt to any new software to ensure readiness in case of an unexpected workplace crisis. Also, maintaining a set method of communicating is important to stay updated. Starting with determining the most vital forms of communication, updating all outdated information, and outlining the working hours will make sure all team members are informed and up-to-date with the necessary information.
  2. Ensure financial security for your team.

    Creating a financial safety net for your employees can be an invaluable resource during an unforeseen crisis, such as a sudden illness or a decline in sales. Having an emergency fund can make a significant difference during tough times. Researching different savings account options, such as the high return business savings account suggested in the Marcus guide, can help you provide the best emergency fund possible for your workforce. Also, educating your staff on the significance of having an emergency fund demonstrates your support and concern for their financial stability. This will also help improve their financial literacy.
  3. Secure critical documents on the cloud.

    When it comes to data storage and safety, being cautious is always the best approach. In a dispersed team where files get shared frequently among members, the risk of data loss is high. To keep essential documents safe and prevent project-related information from getting misplaced, it is recommendable to explore a storage solution on the cloud. Additionally, it is advisable to create data backups both externally and online. By doing so, the probability of losing data permanently is significantly smaller. Although there is still a slight risk of data loss, taking the necessary precautions effectively eliminates the need to worry.
  4. Support and be present for your team members when they need it.

    Initially, transitioning to remote work can lead to a decrease in productivity due to mental health issues and possible scheduling conflicts. During the final stages of a pending project, it is crucial that all members of the team collaborate to their full potential. As a manager, it is your responsibility to ensure your staff’s mental wellness, particularly when they may feel isolated and disconnected. As per a Forbes article, organising regular check-ins and coaching sessions can foster your team’s emotional well-being. Facilities such as holding video conferences, participating in team-building activities, and consistently engaging in dialogue can make your employees feel like they are part of a united community.

In the current remote working environment, it is crucial to recognize that team members don’t have to be available round the clock just because they are online. Managers should motivate their team members to take breaks regularly and create a culture where employees are not in an “always-on” state. Switching off notifications can provide the necessary peace of mind. According to Rebekah Monson, a reputable expert, taking time off and resting is vital to prevent burnout. It is essential to reserve phone calls and emergency lines strictly for critical situations and defer non-urgent matters until regular business hours.

You might also be interested in reading: 4 Ways to Simplify Remote Team Communication

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