As the coronavirus pandemic continues and it’s unclear how long we’ll be working remotely, it’s important that business leaders have strategies in mind to effectively manage their employees from home. This includes maintaining morale, inspiring strong communication, and offering resources to help employees succeed under remote work conditions.
Here are some tips you can follow to set yourself and your team up for success while working from home:
First, it’s important to simply be human as a leader and manager. People are living through unprecedented times, and a crisis of such a global scale is intrinsically changing how we live and work. “During a crisis—or if someone is at home with family, or sick, etc.—people may need to take a more flexible approach. To better accommodate families and work in general during these times, have frequent team check-ins to understand your team’s needs and be sensitive to their well-being,” according to Fast Company.
When it comes to onboarding and training new employees, it’s critical to have this human element and make the new person feel welcome, valued and supported, according to the publication. “Just because a remote or desk-less worker isn’t at the office doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the same onboarding experience and training as the rest of your team. Send a welcome package in the mail along with necessary equipment (where applicable) and include a training schedule as well as some introductory instructions (login information for work accounts, for example),” as noted by Fast Company.
Communication is also crucial for your success as a leader and for your workers to thrive during their remote work experience. This includes having one-on-one meetings with employees and asking for their communication preferences upfront. “From the beginning, managers of remote and distributed employees should be asking questions about preferences for minor things that make a big difference, such as feedback style and meeting preferences (for example, do they prefer videoconferencing for one-on-ones or group catch-ups?),” as explained by Fast Company.
Beyond meetings, as a manager, it’s critical that you offer your workers all the resources possible in one place so they can do their jobs smoothly while home. Likely, some people are more organized when working remotely than others, so it’s essential that any tools they need to be successful are in one easy-to-find place.
“Managers should also make a list of where remote employees can find helpful resources, from important company updates to how to reach IT for technical issues. Ensure your organization has enterprise tools that are available on mobile devices and have little barrier to entry for frontline employees who may not be in a home office,” according to the publication.
Managers need to be mindful of communication and organization to help their employees cope during this difficult period of time. By showing care and concern to workers, the organization will see little loss in productivity and workers will feel cared for and able to thrive no matter the trying circumstances.