REMOTE WORK: NAVIGATING A NEW NORMAL PART 2
By Ken Schmitt & Victoria Willenberg
Previously, we shared tips on how leaders can best set themselves up for success in the current climate of remote work. However, most leaders aren’t responsible for only their productivity, but the productivity and success of their team, as well.
HERE ARE 7 TIPS TO MANAGE YOUR TEAM REMOTELY
You can put all “the things” in place to get the job done, but there are outside forces that will impact your team’s productivity. So, set expectations while remaining open to your team’s struggles
PUT EMPLOYEES AT EASE EARLY ON
Things are changing daily, sometimes hourly. Hours are being reduced, even eliminated. Compensation is taking a hit. Existing infrastructure is inadequate to support changing roles and expectations. As a leader, you can put your teams’ minds at rest from the get-go by addressing these concerns. After consulting HR/legal, explain how employees will be paid (PTO, sick leave, vacation time), offer hardware and infrastructure services, such as increased internet speed and company laptops.
SCHEDULE “OFFICE HOURS”
As many of your team members are sharing space with their families and roommates, “normal” work hours may not be possible. Scheduling office hours tells you the best time to reach your employees and respects their work/life balance.
Team meetings and collaboration can still be achieved without sharing 4 walls. Creating a daily/weekly check-in time will keep your group connected and limit the amount of slowdown in productivity. Using video conferencing, such as Zoom or Dialpad, also helps to fight the feeling of isolation a lot of us start to feel after several days indoors. Treat these virtual meetings as in-person meetings. A consistent meeting schedule allows your team to plan their own meetings and projects around that time.
HELP PRIORITIZE PROJECTS
Even the most efficient employees can get off track when shifting to telecommuting. Take time to help them prioritize projects and assignments, taking into account the need for flexible hours and limited materials needed to accomplish some tasks. Clearly define deadlines and how you will monitor accountability and productivity.
Keep your team accountable to the office hours they committed to. It will be tempting for them (and you) to keep working long after normal business hours because everything is at their fingertips. Blurring the work/lifeline will increase stress and burnout at a time when stress levels are already high. Don’t forget to hold yourself accountable to your set hours, as well!
No matter how much planning you put into place, there is a multitude of factors that are out of your and your team’s control. Be flexible. Communicate. Check in to make sure they’re doing alright. Make changes as needed.
Here’s a great article with a few more work from home tips. Check out the comments!