17 March 2020 · by How to embrace remote working
With the recent developments of Covid-19, it’s now more important than ever for businesses to embrace remote working.
In times of uncertainty, keeping your team engaged and productive is even more challenging. This blog gives you a couple of hard and fast rules that will help you manage your team effectively.
1. Set clear expectations
Share your proposed expectations with your team when they are working remotely. This will ensure that you gain their commitment in the initial stages and that you consider anything that may need to be factored into their day plans. It will also ensure that these expectations are implemented and adopted.
However, it is important that you remain in control and set clear and achievable timelines. Ask the team to confirm that they have understood these and actively monitor them each day.
2. Help them to plan their day
Firstly, encourage them to find an appropriate workspace and make sure that it is clear of clutter and distractions. This can be a kitchen table, worktop or even a dressing table. Secondly, as simple as this may seem, encourage them to dress for the day. Establishing a morning routine which includes getting up and preparing for the day, almost like you would if you were going to an office. If the team all go through this process each morning, then it will ensure they are mentally ready for a day of work.
Lastly, it is important to establish their working hours and set out what breaks they need to take. Sometimes when working from home it is easy to lose track of time or be less productive over long periods. This can include time in the day that you would like them to focus on certain tasks. It is also good practice for them to communicate what they are working on with the rest of the team.
3. Use the technology available to you
There are several technology platforms that will be available to you and your team. This may be the group chat on WhatsApp, email, phone and video call (WhatsApp video/facetime/zoom). In the early stages it may be best to trial several different platforms to see which the team prefer and in turn how you can use each of them differently to communicate key messages.
4. Get comfortable with video calls
When teams are working from home over a long period, the lack of daily interaction can start to have an impact on mindset and in turn productivity. Make sure that you prioritise picking up the phone or video calling your team daily to boost morale and deliver key messages. This will enable you to answer any questions or concerns they may have, whilst providing clarity and assurance.
The first time you video call it can sometimes be a little awkward but as human interaction is so important for your team, try and interact as you normally would.
5. Don’t micromanage
When your team are working from home, they will be granted a certain degree of freedom that they wouldn’t have whilst working in the office. Whilst this may initially be seen as a positive, it can also breed loneliness and sometimes negativity. It is important to reinforce the importance of teamwork and encourage and reassure your teams that they are doing a great job.
Talk to them in the morning about their daily plans and catch up with them later in the day to see how they are getting on. This will also give you the opportunity to check whether there is anything they might need your help with. Sometimes it is best that this remains informal and brief so that it doesn’t appear as though you are micromanaging them.
In summary, it is important to remain human, to stress the importance of communication and to reinforce that the team are very much part of something.
Our team at Huntress can help you hire and aboard teams, even in times where your company may be working remotely. For more information, contact one of our team via this link.