Few people may be aware that, before the epidemic, around 25% of American workers spent at least some of their time working from home. So, it is safe to assume we can get some important advice from managers who are currently demonstrating these excellent practices.
And while it is generally better to develop clear remote-work policies and training beforehand. In times of crisis or other rapidly changing conditions, this degree of preparation may not be possible. Fortunately, managers can boost the engagement and productivity of remote workers even when they have limited time to plan by taking precise, research-based actions. What do you suppose? The time to act is now!
Managers must first comprehend the elements that can make working remotely particularly hard. If they start working remotely, otherwise high-performing individuals may see a reduction in job performance and engagement. Especially if they haven’t had any training or preparation.
Nevertheless, the bulk of many well-meaning businesses is made up of people who are already actively or passively disengaged. Consider the effects that working remotely might have on their level of commitment, effectiveness, and sense of purpose.
Challenges Inherent in Remote Work include:
- Lack of face-to-face supervision
- Lack of access to information
- Social isolation
- Distractions at home
- Enhanced issues with already existing silos
Here’s How Managers Can Lead Remote Teams More Effectively
Although managing remote workers might be difficult, there are several simple and affordable things managers can take to make the transition easier:
1. Plan Daily Check-Ins
Although it may seem excessive, this is crucial for teams and managers who are new to remote working. In addition, managers who are successful in their remote leadership attempts are drifting toward more regular usage of video conferencing to establish the face-to-face engagement that is currently lacking when email, phone, and texts may have once been sufficient.
2. Communicate Too Much
Over-communicating is essential when it comes to the team’s tasks, obligations, responsibilities, and intended outcomes, which we’ll explore in more detail in a moment. This goes beyond the straightforward daily check-ins. Even in a typical office setting, poor communication can be problematic. However, communication is crucial when workers are working remotely and maybe now concentrating on new or different activities and goals.
3. Benefit from Technology
Most of us have already been compelled to embark on a digital transformation journey that might take most businesses months or even years to complete. Most of you already use Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, and Zoom, which offer straightforward platforms for addressing suggestions 1 and 2. I’ll confess that it was a little unsettling at first, but after it was fully implemented, it was a great approach to promote engagement tactics. And solely for finishing tasks!
4. Set Ground Rules for the Situation
Or, as we refer to them in the military, ROEs. When managers establish expectations for the frequency, channels, and ideal timing of communication for their employees, remote work becomes more effective and rewarding. For instance, “When something is urgent, we utilize IM, but we use videoconferencing for daily check-in meetings.” Establish expectations for how and when team members can contact their manager (who maybe you) and how and when the manager can contact each team member. Ensure information exchange among peers as necessary.
5. Encourage Remote Social Interactions
These activities, such as virtual happy hours (ideally not before 9 am!), pizza parties, and recognition sessions, are likely familiar to many of you. The research was largely based on the best practices of managers who have long led remote teams. Demonstrates that this is effective even though it may seem a little forced and unnatural. My advice is to not demand too many Zoom meetings and instead allocate time during existing meetings for extracurricular activities and conversations. then occasionally organize that pizza party or happy hour!
6. Demonstrate Adaptability
Here comes the big test. Every team member comes from a unique home environment. Some of them will be married and have children. Some people will not. Others will hold meetings in their closets, bedrooms, or bathrooms, while some will have private home offices. Some may be working at Starbucks. Some people may be having relationship problems. The point is that a manager must understand each employee’s unique circumstances. Knowing that it will not be perfect is the new normal for 2020! But, if we can withstand global pandemics, social unrest, economic downturns, fires, hurricanes, locusts, and meteors, doesn’t manage remote teams sound simple?