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Should Employers be expecting full productivity from their employees right now?

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Cali Yost is a workplace strategist, author, speaker and CEO of Flex+Strategy Group based in New York City. Yost was interviewed by SHRM Online regarding her thoughts on manager’s expectations during this remote working reality.

I’m sure most employees can identify with the statement that some days are more productive than others when working remotely, but should we feel upset that we are not reaching out full potential?

Yost says No.

She explains that the rapid shift to a completely remote work economy with no preparation or training can’t help but negatively affect productivity. However, now is the time to embrace not being perfect. The goal is not to maintain pre-COVID levels but instead to maintain productivity while keeping all employees as healthy and safe as possible. Yost suggests shifting our productivity mindset.

For many home is not a quiet productive work environment with all the tools necessary for the job. With kids trying to home school, other remote workers in the house and children looking for additional attention, a full and productive work day is unlikely 100% of the time.

Yost suggests that managers should understand that productivity and flexibility are interrelated as employees learn to adapt to their new work environment. The best thing managers can do now is be extremely clear regarding priorities. Managers should work with their employees to help determine how to reach goals both with their job but also within their personal responsibilities.

Yost explains that the two more common mistakes made are:

  • Not setting clear expectations with direct reports and regular updates. Leading a flexible work team requires additional communication, planning and effort.

  • Not clarifying communication protocol. Managers should identify how everyone is expected to communicate, whether by e-mail, Slack or other remote work tools. Managers should also set up reasonable communication boundaries, on and off hours.

If you are looking for more information regarding working remotely check out the COVID-19 resource center on the EAP website. If you find an article you really love, be sure to share it with your fellow co-workers!