As a leader sometimes you need to sacrifice short term gains for long term growth. Not something easy to do especially when your business is hanging by a thread, with one foot in the grave and the coronavirus epidemic is spreading worldwide.
The truth is that the mettle of a leader is tested during trying times and not when everything is humming along without a care in the world. And as a leader you are responsible for steering your business on the right path for sustained success into the future, regardless of current conditions.
And as a leader of techies you need to be aware and prepared with countermeasures against anything that might damage them. Even if you lack empathy, as a leader of a tech company you know that the true value of your whole business is stored partly in your employees. They have the know-how locked tightly inside their heads and losing any of them is bad for business.
So now with this global pandemic, you should focus your actions on ensuring the wellbeing of your employees. If not because you care for them, then because of your sense of business survival and desire to keep on winning.
The most efficient thing you could do to help fight against coronavirus and avoid it spreading inside your company is to allow your employees to work from home. And thank God that you are a leader of technical people. Most of their work is done on their laptops and over the internet. They can take care of business from their home, thus reducing the risk of them catching coronavirus or spreading it to their colleagues.
Remote work can be daunting, especially if your company culture is to fight against it at each turn. How can you manage and make sure stuff actually gets done? – you might be asking.
Well, if you fear that your people will slack off at home, that is a sign of a deficiency in the hiring process. I am assuming you hired professionals who take pride in their work.
In fact if you have ture professionals as employees they will be more productive form home than from the office. Not right off the gate mind you. For 2-3 days they will marvel in the ability to work from home, and do some chores around the house and lounge on the couch. The chores finish at some point and it becomes super boring staying all day long inside the house.
Plus the daily status updates will start adding more and more psychological pressure on them.
Soon they will be working even more than they used to do at the office. When the office is right there, and you have an idea at 10PM you go and work a little. So convenient.
In fact, if this coronavirus epidemic lasts too long you will have a different problem… How to make sure your employees maintain a sane work/life balance and avoid burnout.
It can be so easy to go overboard with work when working remotely. That is the one true peril of remote work, one that needs to be actively offset by leaders if they wish to maintain a healthy work pace inside their teams.
The good news is that because you are a leader of technical people it should be fairly easy for you and your people to create a working setup that fulfills all business needs. This is a huge advantage when it comes to working remotely because telecommuting relies heavily on the individual ability to debug and fix application issues related mostly to microphones and cameras not working correctly or messages not synching in the background. Or it might be just my experience.
What other benefits can you draw from allowing remote working during the coronavirus epidemic?
Besides avoiding my whole workforce getting infected? – you ask.
Well, you might discover that remote work is actually beneficial for your company and your employees and implement a remote work program after the coronavirus passes. Maybe not become a 100% remote company, but allowing people to work remote a couple days a week or month is a morale booster.