Managing Remote Workers

With a significant number of the workforce now working in some sort of flexible role due to Covid-19 we thought it would be beneficial to discuss how you can effectively manage and communicate with your workforce during this challenging time.

Lets break it down and keep it simple:

  1. Treat them like they are in the office. Give your team as much access to you as possible. If we don’t have that access we can feel disconnected. Respond to them as quickly as possible.
  2. Communicate Regularly.  Engage your team on a daily basis through some kind of communication. Use multiple channels to communicate. We don’t just mean email.  Make use of technology and video conference as much as you can.
  3. Focus on Outcome- not activity. It is easy to think your team are not working when you can’t see them.  So it’s critical to manage expectations and stay focused on the outcomes you would like to see. Don’t worry as much about what is being done. Instead, concentrate on what is being accomplished.
  4. Manage Underwork or Overwork –  Forget the traditional working hours of 9-5 when you have teams working from home.  Working from home means your team will build their own schedules and there will often be flexibility in the hours that people choose to work. Without all the workplace distractions, some of your team may overproduce and you will need to manage their expectations so they don’t burn out.  So too, is managing those that may get overly distracted while at home.  Children, chores, pets can all contribute to additional stress and time challenges.  Remember to set expectations of outcomes and manage to these.
  5. Trust your team.  This is the bottom line.  Once you set the expectations, then trust your team to get on with it.  Who cares if they do it at 10pm – they got it done!

Changing the way we work, means we need to change the way we manage and lead as well.  Challenge yourself to consider what methods you are using now, and how they can be adapted to make you an even more effective leader and manager in this current environment.