Bypassing the leadership basics, because I’m sure you all have heard and read about it enough already, 2020 has been a roller coaster for everyone, the leaders, the workers, and even the unemployed. We started the year with the prospect of WWIII and we landed in COVID-19 chaos shortly after. It has been almost 8 months and a lot has happened already! Many small businesses were shut downed. Some medium businesses either downgraded to small businesses by firing staff and minimizing operations or are struggling to keep up pace. Large ones have fired some staff but are mainly keeping operations on hold at the moment, waiting for a miracle to happen. The mega ones though, chose a riskier approach.Building on some extremely powerful leadership principles, Amazon announced a number of COVID-19 updates on their blog in September. Aside from the billion Dollars investments in employee health initiatives (which we know is not really possible for most of us), the organization updated more than 150 processes to meet social distancing needs. Amazon permitted eligible workers to work from home until January 2021, adjusted the way teams’ clock in and out, stopped post-shift security screening, staggered shift starts times and break times, eliminated stand-up meetings, and shifted trainings to protect employees. Likewise, Apple announced that employees can request to work from home until January 2021. According to Bloomberg, Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president, has asked all the workers of their closed store to continue working from home until the end of the year. O’Brien has asked remote workers to communicate and engage with customers and respond to their needs over the phone. Apple has witnessed a significant increase in the number of potential customers during the quarantine. Google has demonstrated a similar attitude towards the safety of its employees. According to the Wall Street journal, Google began the quarantine in March 2020 with a work-from-home policy until January 2021, which was later extended to July 2021. Similarly, Twitter and Facebook announced that employees can request a permanent remote-work arrangement, if they wish to. Yes, I know. These are giants of the industry and can afford to do things that many of us cannot. But let’s put aside the financial aspects and talk about leadership mentality. Leading remote workers has turned out to be one of the hot leadership trends in the second half of 2020. Many are waiting to see what these giant tech companies will do and then use their strategies to shape their own. It may or may not be a smart thing to do. First, remote working can mean different things to different industries, different sizes of organizations, and different work cultures. Some industries, such as manufacturing, cannot work remotely. some other can keep a head office and ask some employees to work from home, and some other can completely work remotely. Smaller and less developed companies may not be able to invest capital in implementing processes and tools to measure performance outcomes. Finally, and most importantly, remote work policies and procedures are not culturally acceptable yet in many countries across the globe. To help organizational leaders, Harvard Business School published 12 tips for managing remote workers: Establish team norms and expectationsHold regular check-ins and one-on-one conversationsLeverage technologyCommunicate constantlyBe transparent Instill a sense of purposeTrust and empower your employeesProvide supportSolicit feedbackFoster empathy and cultural awarenessMake time to connect and socializePromote work-life balanceMore about each of the above tips in the blog, soon! But for now, let me know your thoughts…. How do you manage/have managed your employees during this pandemic? What were the outcomes? What would you have done differently?