Four Tips For Assisting Expat Employees During the COVID-19 Pandemic
With the current global crisis, leaders and managers are moving to virtual management. In an effort to curb the outbreak, international companies and small companies are learning to manage from a distance. For some, managing employees who are not in the same physical space can be an entirely new experience. But, digital nomads, global citizens, and expats are usually globally connected to their managers as they work remotely. Here are four tips for assisting expat employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we navigate through the coronavirus pandemic, most companies will end up working from home for months. As some businesses offer work from home options several days a week, other companies that do not have flexible working hours will face some challenges when it comes to managing their team remotely. Use these four tips to ensure your management skills are not compromised and that you and your team are having a productive workday. Luckily for many digital nomads living abroad, they are used to working remotely, often from their home located abroad.
Opt for video calls
To mimic face-to-face interaction, use video calls instead of audio calls with your employees. There are many video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Slack, and Google Hangouts. It allows managers to engage, interact, and catch nonverbal cues with their teams. Similarly, through video calls, employees are forced to pay attention and not get distracted with their surroundings. Plus, you can still have your team lunch and do other activities that you would typically do through video calls. You can surely keep the team spirits up through fun activities like these. Remember, you may want to wear a dress shirt for your virtual meetings as someone may want it to be a video call.
Maintain ongoing communication
For managers and leaders, the trick to maintaining a cohesive culture with employees working from home is by sustaining constant communication. It’s a usual scene at the office to see co-workers chatting over a coffee break or stopping by their workstation to ask questions. You can opt for an open-door policy. Keep yourself available on tools such as Slack and Skype during office hours. It enables employees to have direct contact with you and get real-time solutions instead of emailing. Managers and employees can also use the screen-share option on Zoom to present or clarify their projects. It ensures projects are effortlessly executed without any miscommunication. Additionally, it also helps your employees feel a lot more confident in their work, be part of the team. It also enables you to ensure your team is on the same page.
Do not micromanage your expats too much
Micromanaging doesn’t always prove to be a useful management skill, especially when transitioning from the office to the laptop. Giving freedom to your ex-pat employees will be better for the team in the long run. It is time to establish trust during remote work. Allow your team to complete their work without nudging them on Skype all the time. The goal should be to complete the project and deliver results. Don’t focus on where, when, and how they do it. By avoiding micromanaging, you’re also allowing your employees to think creatively. It also allows them to find productive ways to complete their tasks.
Understanding expat employees have flexible work hours
One major thing to understand is that remote work allows employees to work flexible hours. Some employees are early birds and prefer to start their work earlier in the morning, while others work late into the evening. Furthermore, you also have to note down on factors such as timezones. Most managers and leaders will find it difficult to hold meetings that are suitable for everyone. The key to successful management is to respect your team’s schedule when they are located overseas.
Important Notes for Global Citizens Working From Home
Remember that when you are working abroad and especially if you are working from home as a global citizen, don’t forget to take care of your health and wellbeing. That includes some exercise and keeping some work/life balance. When you’re done with work, remember to plug out. Get in touch with friends and family through Skype and FaceTime. Check on your elderly neighbors if they need any help with online grocery shopping and other aid. You can always help them in your own way without compromising your health.
Finally, just because you are not working at your office, you also need to make sure you have some high-quality global health insurance in place. It is especially true today with the rise of COVID-19. For expat employers with their workforce currently working from their home, it is still important that they have their new remote workers well covered by a global mobility insurance policy.