Working from home has gone from a value add in many organisations to a must-have. As a result, there are managers and team leaders everywhere having to learn quickly what are the best ways to manage a team. We have compiled a list of strategies to get the most out of staff working from home.
This should be done as a 1-on-1 although daily team check-ins are also a great way to keep everyone connected. When you have your check-in wherever possible use video, yes video is important to make it feel more personal. Phone conversations, email, and chats go only so far and it loses the human elements of communication. Your team needs to see you, and you need to see them. The good news is that services like Skype, Zoom or Google Hangouts make this easy and at the very least you can facetime on your phone. When doing these catch-ups always allocate a few minutes to talk about things outside of work and get feedback on how the new arrangement is working.
Communicate More Then You Think is Necessary
With not so much time in the office, you will miss all the items that just pop-up. Communication now should be increased to help everyone stay connected and informed. One of the hardest things about working from home, especially if you’re used to an office environment, is the sense of loneliness and isolation that can set in. That’s especially true considering that many people are practising social distancing.
As a manager, your job is to keep your team connected. As your team is now more isolated they are missing out on all the small elements of ‘banter’ that make your workplace a little more rewarding. Do your best to help facilitate this by sharing funning and workplace appropriate memes through your communication channels to help lift spirits.
Help your team figure out what they should do, and create realistic expectations for their work. That means defining the scope, deadlines, and deliverables for each task or project your team is working on. Otherwise, don’t be surprised if a few weeks from now you find yourself wondering what everyone was doing. You have booked in daily 1-on-1 so this element should be easy to stay abreast of.
Be Outcomes Focused
Managing a remote team involves lot’s of trust from all parties, it’s not possible to oversee all our team members every move. Instead of focusing on activity or hours worked, focus on the outcomes and measure your team accordingly.
Understand that, especially in the current environment, your team has a lot going on. That’s not an excuse for not getting things done, but it is a reason to reconsider what productivity really means. Trust your team and give them the freedom and flexibility to get work done on the schedule that helps them be the most productive. The more Autonomy your team receive the more effective they will become in the long term. Just ensure they are appropriately resourced.