When you think of working remotely, what typically comes to mind? No commute, flexible hours, option to work in pajamas? With so many “perks” it’s no surprise that the act of working remotely has increasingly grown in popularity.
But in recent weeks as businesses rapidly adapt their operations, what used to be considered a nice-to-have job perk has become for many both a mandatory and essential way of working.
Depending on your industry and company culture, having employees who work remotely may be a standard practice, or it may be a completely new territory your company is exploring. If it’s new territory, and you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or unsure about how to effectively manage your newly remote team, don’t worry!
We’ve provided five tips that as a leader you can use in your efforts to help create a successful work from home experience for your team.
1. Provide the right tools
One of the most effective ways to ensure your team is successful in their work from home experience is to equip them with the proper tools and resources. To do this, develop a quick checklist of items and resources that employees need based of their current job description and general responsibilities.
Aside from the obvious technical equipment such as laptops and monitors, be sure to consider other job-related resources. For instance, are there specific files or servers that employees would typically use in the office that they would need to access at home? Do they have the appropriate contact information for individuals outside of their immediate department? If they run into a troubleshooting issue, can it quickly be resolved?
By making sure that your employees are equipped with the proper tools, you are empowering your team to effectively complete their job at home as easily as if they were still physically in the office.
2. Foster a team environment
Let’s face it, fostering a team environment is a lot easier to do when everyone is under one office roof. But just because your employees may now be scattered in various locations doesn’t mean that you still can’t connect. Take advantage of video platforms such as Zoom or Skype to liven up your daily meetings. You’d be surprised at how the simple act of physically seeing coworkers even if through a virtual setting can promote a sense of comradery and overall team engagement.
3. Be clear in your communication
When we work remotely we naturally lose our ability to communicate in person. As a result, it can be very easy for our communication efforts to get lost in translation or even misinterpreted. To help alleviate any misunderstanding amongst your team, try to make sure that any feedback or instructions you provide are as clear, direct, and specific as possible.
For example, instead of saying “The error on the report needs to be corrected and sent back.” Try instead to say – “On page 5 under the Weekly Reporting section there was an error with the date range provided. Can you please update that section to reflect the dates for last week?”.
By providing clear instructions at the start your request, you can help reduce the amount of back and forth between workers leading to greater efficiency and productivity.
4. Promote professional development
One of the key benefits of working remotely is that it eliminates the need to commute. Not only does this help reduce stress for a lot of employees, but it also provides more time in the day. Encourage employees to take advantage of that “extra” time by focusing on their professional development. Whether it’s listening to a new podcast, spending time reading, taking an online course or participating in a webinar. Just spending 30 minutes to an hour each day can quickly enhance both the professional knowledge and skillsets of employees.
5. Demonstrate Trust
For many, working remotely provides a greater level of flexibility. But with that newfound flexibility also comes a new level of trust from employers. As a leader, it can be hard to gauge how employees are spending their time when you don’t physically see them in the office. Try your best not to micromanage and instead trust your employee’s judgement and time management skills.
We know that having a sudden change in work structure can be a stressful time for anyone. But remember with a little bit of planning and thought leadership, working remotely can be a great experience for both employees and employers.
Aside from the five tips we’ve provided, what are other ways that as a leader you use to create a successful work experience? Contact MOSAIC for more ways you can engage with your team!