Many companies in recent weeks have transitioned to working 100% remote with very little preparation. This can lead to confusion, stress, and feelings of isolation—not only for yourself but for your employees as well. Don’t worry—we have tips to make this transition easier and to help you effectively lead your team remotely!
As a leader, you are needed more than ever. Many employees are feeling uneasy and even though you may also feel this way, it’s important to provide stability, positivity, empathy, and understanding. Have your teams focus on the aspects they can control by establishing clear, actionable items. In turn, they will be more productive and motivated.
Provide Information and Structure
Before, your employees could easily get information needed for deliverables by stopping at a team member’s desk or jumping into an impromptu meeting. Now, getting information has become a difficult task as employees are faced with a new working environment, new workloads and potentially new hours working at home with children. This can be easily combated by setting up intentional methods of communication.
- Establishing a time frame to respond to internal emails allowing employees to get access to information quickly.
- Creating an accountability structure in order to understand what projects they are currently working on and what priorities are.
- Sharing calendars so that team members can better coordinate.
- Have a set check-in time for touching base so you are informed about their workflow and can check how things are going.
Setting up these expectations can keep your teams aligned and working efficiently.
Encourage Social Interaction and Engagement
A lack of face-to-face communication can result in employees experiencing social isolation and lack of engagement. According to Gallup, 70% of an individual’s engagement is driven by their manager.
Here are some suggestions to drive social interaction and keep engagement high:
- Have regular one-on-one meetings over video chat with each one of your team members to show interest in their personal progress – we recommend video check-ins at least once a week, if possible.
- Schedule virtual happy hours with your teams on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. A virtual happy hour can be a get together with no set schedule or it could be a short 15-minute call. This gives team members the opportunity to sit back with their favorite drink and have a laid-back discussion with those on the team! For more information, check out our Virtual Happy Hour blog post!
- Have your team meetings over video chat – we know, most of the time when you’re working from home, you don’t want to be on video. However, having this face-to-face contact with the whole team is a great way to make sure everyone feels included in the discussion.
- Set up a simple chat room for everyone on your team to use when they need a short break or, even, a good laugh. Create subgroups about recently binged TV shows, work from home tips or at home workouts!
- Add in a short 5-10-minute discussion to the beginning of your meetings to just share personal news or ask how everyone has been doing.
Kids are home from school, and many employees are trying to figure out how to work from home for the first time. Take this time to really show your employees that you care by being patient with them and this new work environment!
When it comes to measuring productivity, try using results rather than logged time. What does that mean? Instead of having set hours that everyone needs to work during the day (like 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM), try setting goals of when certain tasks need to be completed by. This way, parents can work at whatever time they think will work best for them and their families!
Offer Your Support
We bet you’re wondering how you can support your employees during the transition from office life to working from home. Well, there isn’t a simple fix for everyone, but here are some ideas to try
- Provide several different communication channels for employees to reach you
- Offer encouragement and emotional support as needed to your employees
- Above all, just be a resource for your employees
Even though this is a new environment, it is completely manageable! You just need to find solutions that work best for you and your team. Don’t be afraid to be creative in how you connect with your team.
If you have any questions or want some more resources on how to manage your remote team, reach out to us! We’re always here to help and we are more than happy to share our experiences with you!