It’s a little-known secret that nearly a quarter of the workforce in the United States already worked from home on some level before the pandemic. While organizations may prefer establishing clear remote work policies and training in advance of implementing remote work, times of crises and other rapidly changing circumstances doesn’t always make thoughtful preparation possible. In a post-pandemic world, it looks like remote work is here to stay, at least to some degree.
We’ve compiled a list of ways to help managers better prepare for the new world of remote work. Here are 5 tips for managing a remote team.
Frequently check in with employees. Ask about their overall well-being while keeping in mind there is the potential for feelings of isolation. Use this time to share some news or tips. It’s fine to give a small update or to simply say there is no news to share. It’s the check-in itself that helps.
Offer Them Flexibility
Give your team the gift of flexibility by letting them know that it’s okay to vary their work hours to the extent that’s possible for your organization. Tell them to send a quick email if they need to go outside for a walk or to run an errand.
Host Remote Social Interactions
Schedule events for your team to interact socially. Whether you host a virtual pizza party or build in time at the beginning of team calls for non-work related activities, it can be beneficial for your team members as individuals, as well as for the team as a whole. Despite the risk that such virtual events may feel artificial or forced, employees report that virtual events help reduce feelings of isolation while promoting a sense of belonging.
Structured Daily Check-Ins
Successfully managing a team remotely involves an established daily call with remote employees. Whether you make a series of one-on-one calls with employees who work independently of one another or you hold a team call with employees who collaborate, the calls should take place every workday on a regular and predictable basis. Use the calls to create a forum in which your employees can seek your consultation and in which they can voice their questions and concerns.
And while it is a good idea to communicate frequently with your team, don’t fall into the trap of micromanaging. Your employees need your confidence in their ability to work just as hard at home as they would in the office. Your remote-work team may feel that you don’t trust them if you’re checking in with them several times a day. Believe that they’re keeping the same hours and maintaining productivity despite the fact that you don’t physically see them.
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