Team management has always been a challenge for most leaders, this has been even harder during the current times of increased remote working.
Keep reading to find out how to keep remote employees as productive and engaged as possible.
Be flexible and understanding
This might be something that you’ve seen quite some times now, but it is crucial to take a step back and check or remind yourself whether you are still being considerate or not. Stressful times can shift your focus to more pressing matters, which might neglect this point of being ‘’flexible and understandable’’.
For example: Some people are juggling kids besides work and may sometimes put in fewer hours than before. Also, people living in small quarters may also encounter difficulty with having quiet video calls all the time.
Be less concerned about the actual hours they work, but more on the results. Everyone works productively at different hours. Don’t just stick to the old-school ‘’working hours’’ with remote working.
Have regular check-ins and outs with your employees
Pick up the phone or call them via other communication tools and ask how they are genuinely doing, both mentally and practically. Offer extensions of deadlines, if it will lessen the stress they’re feeling, while also balancing the needs of the company.
We recommend to have at least a short 15-minute team stand-up, 3 times a week, for more effective team leadership.
As far as working from home goes, small gestures are often forgotten than when you actually saw that person in the office. However, especially in times like these, small gestures can go quite far. Send your employee and (hand-made) card with a positive message, or a gift-card with a note telling them to purchase a new toy for their kids, who kept popping up during meetings, for example. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but a token of appreciation can go a long way.
Focus on the basics
Furthermore, the scenario where everyone suddenly has to work from home, might be harder to adjust to for certain people. Try to give them something from the office to help them adjust more to a ‘’home office’’. Provide the employees with the actual chairs or screens from the office. This will bring an ‘’office’’ element and also be cherished by the employees as they see your efforts to make them comfortable during ‘’unfamiliar’’ times.
Lead with transparency
It is understandable that there will be a lot of questions regarding the COVID-19 situation and what this will mean for the company. People expect their leaders to lead them with openness by not withholding information that could prove further understanding of this issue. It is okay to say, ‘’I’m unable to provide you with a clear answer at this point, but will inform you once I hear anything’’ or a simple ‘’I don’t know’’. This will show that they are not the only ones in the dark.