How to Manage Newly Remote Workers
Almost overnight, most of us have become remote workers.
There’s been plenty of advice for Home Workers – but what about Home Managers?
This is a huge shift for both bosses and staff. One that requires a shift in management style to get the most out of your now scattered teams.
To help you make this shift productively Monster has collated these top tips.
Get the right tech
Without the right technology – strong management in our age of home working is almost impossible.
Does everyone have access to the right software, have strong enough broadband, have the laptop or printer that they need? And do you have the right conference and communication tools to let your team talk quickly and efficiently when they need to? Investing in services like Microsoft Teams means people can fire off quick questions or catch up face to face. This will all result in more productive, happier and communicative team members. Make sure they know where to reach out to for tech help.
It is easy to panic. Most businesses have never been tested like this before – but remember that you worrying will not help your team. Presenting a calm exterior while not shying away from the realities of the new challenge will help others stay calm and embrace the tasks ahead of them. Think about what calls or video conferences you can get in the calendar to keep people talking and laughing together. This way all work contact won’t just be about spreadsheets – it will be about catching up and sharing conversation too. Don’t overdo it though – Many people are finding the pressure for every call to be on video a struggle.
Set clear, achievable, tasks
Setting clear, short term, goals will help people get through the day. In the current environment they need to be achievable. Make sure you keep communicating with each other. As we’re no longer just sitting across the office from one another, think about how you can break complex tasks down to ensure multiple check-ins. Cutting tasks down like this will also make sure that people feel a sense of achievement regularly throughout the week – something we all need at the moment!
Check in daily
Not just with your teams to see how their work is doing – although this is important as some may need help prioritising during what is a very stressful time or someone to run questions or ideas passed – but also to see how they are coping. Team members with young children, sick family members or additional stresses like money worries due to the impact of coronavirus on their household may need your support. Sometimes just a kind ear to listen helps, but other times you may need to work with them to set flexible working hours or some time off. While this may shift normal working patterns – it will make people more productive. And they’ll be grateful that you cared enough to reach out and offer support.
Encourage breaks – throughout the day
Lead by example. Show your team that you are taking your hour for lunch every day – and that you are not sending emails before 9am or after 6pm. It is too easy when we’re sitting in the same place all day to not allow ourselves to step away from our laptops. If you let your team do this you will not get the best out of them – and work will become a chore. Promoting a good balance is key.
What’s Your Exit Strategy?
Workers in the UK have the right to ask for flexible working; it’s up to a company to show that they can’t do their job remotely in order to refuse it. That will likely mean a big up-surge in home working after the crisis, especially if social distancing is encouraged for a long time.
Even as we come out of the crisis, many workers simply will not feel safe commuting on crowded public transport and into open plan offices for some time. How do your team feel about that in the longer term? Will any of them request to be permanent home-working? Starting these discussions now will make the transition into a phased return easier to handle and also may allow staff to feel hopeful about planning for the future – whether they have flourished at home and will work flexibly in the future, or if they can’t wait to get back to the office!