For the past few months, many people have been adjusting to a life where working from home is the new norm. This has presented several challenges with managers losing many tangible aspects of their role, particularly with the interactions with their team.
During this period, it is essential that leaders are accustomed to individuals needs and experiences.
When working from home, the boundaries between work and personal life are skewed and everyone experiences the situation differently.
The challenge that leaders are facing today is how to re-create the communication and teamwork in a virtual world. We will discuss 5 ways you can better manage your team when working from home.
Hold regular working from home meetings
Working remotely removes the shared physical space with your team. This can make it difficult for staff to feel like there working together and as a part of a team.
As a manager, it is your job to keep your staff working together. To do this, constant communication needs to be maintained and reinforced. Banter and small chats in the workplace can’t be replaced by emails and texts.
To maintain a collaborative and positive culture you need to ensure you are communicating via video or calls regularly.
With technology channels readily available, scheduling regular video calls can help motivate staff, in turn stabilising productivity. An example of this would be to organise a five minute ‘virtual coffee break’.
This allows managers to gauge how everyone is doing, as this is more likely to be shared in personal or group conversations.
Ask your team what they need to work from home
Communication is a two-way street, and a necessary part of remote team building and successful task completion.
As a team leader it is your job to make sure that your employees have the resources to properly carry out their role or day. It is common for staff to not be proactive about things that they require.
As they might feel uncomfortable when asking for supplies or help.
To make sure all staff are catered for, you need to be proactive with your approach. Ask your team what they need from you, either an approval or simple email reply.
Not only will this make sure you are monitoring your staff, but they feel like they are being cared for.
Motivate your team
Some employees don’t feel as motivated when working from home. They may feel detached and have more distractions deterring them from their work.
As a leader you need to inspire your team to be the best they can be. A good way to do this is to share the little wins.
For example, when someone in your team receives good feedback from a client, you should let everyone know. From this everyone will be motivated to have their own win shared. No matter how small the ‘win’ may be, it should be celebrated especially during this time.
Allow for breaks and changes in structure
When working from home there is a constant struggle to try to balance home life with work.
With the sudden changes to our daily routine it has created unnecessary stress, resulting in mistakes in our work or just miscommunication between staff.
Managers need to recognise that their staff are going through challenges and additional pressures.
They need to learn to give there team the benefit of the doubt. As the saying goes ‘we’re only human’ and we all make mistakes.
While this cant excuse not getting the job done, being a leader involves being empathetic and flexible.
To help employees with this added stress you need to address that taking breaks is essential. They already have a set expectation to complete their required volume of work, however breaks should be taken.
As simple as a short walk or getting a coffee. This are all necessary to help the brain function at its best.
Be more approachable for working from home employees
For some, working from home is unmotivating and feels transactional. Work seems to be based around video meetings with clients and sending emails back and forth.
From doing this for a few months you start to realise how impersonal working remotely can be.
Removing the shared working space removes the constant chatter and relationships you have with team members.
As a leader its your job to make your team feels like a team. Getting more personal with your staff is one way to keep that connection.
Look after about your staff’s wellbeing and take time to connect on things non-work-related. By doing this your staff will feel appreciated.
It’s necessary during this time of remote working to keep up office moral and keep output high. Without positive and motivated staff, your business won’t continue to run as usual.
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