With COVID figures on the low side, you may now be back to business as usual… but you may not. Many businesses have discovered their original working patterns are no longer preferable. If you only have some staff back in your place of business, here are some helpful tips on how to manage your remote team.
During the outbreak, many employers encouraged workers to find a way to work from home. Now restrictions are lifting, some employees have returned, but many, whether due to health concerns or simple preference, are still working from home. If you are new to managing remote employees, try to incorporate this guidance to ensure your work from home team is as happy as your on-site team, and that the two blend seamlessly.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
Don’t expect your work from home team to be mind-readers! If you are having a meeting, invite them via Zoom or similar. If you want to delegate an important task, lift the phone rather than just firing off another email… even if there is nothing pressing, make sure to check in at least once a week. For many, the shift to working from home can be isolating so a general call will help you ascertain if they are happy and motivated.
Accept that 9-5 may be flexible
While September is fast approaching and schools will soon reopen, there is a reality that many employees opt to work from home as a means to better manage their out of work commitments. They may have young children, a sick relative or be pursuing another goal that matters to them. This is to be encouraged! Let them know what needs to be done and when but accept that if it isn’t time-sensitive it is okay if it is completed at 8pm or 5am or even at the weekend. Set clear deadlines and then allow your work from home employees some flexibility in their schedule. Their mindset and motivation will rise because of it (a happy employee is a hard-working employee!), and your business won’t be any worse for wear.
Team building and maintenance
If you are using a combination of on-site workers and work from home staff, it is important that they interact with each other in a real way. Don’t let this become an “us vs them” divide; they must remain a supportive and close-knit team.
Schedule regular in-person team events, choosing anything from structured team-building exercises to just a regular coffee and a chat. Also encourage the lines of communication to remain open, asking them to favor phone calls and video chats over emails and texts when appropriate.
Helping you with remote workers and beyond
We hope you now have some clearer ideas of how to manage your remote team, but if you need a bit more help, just let us know.
Our team specialize in recruitment, retention, and leadership in all settings and in businesses in every shape and size. For help with your blended workforce, remote workers or your traditional team that is looking to expand, get in touch today.
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