Managing Remote Workers
As a leader, helping your employees transition to working remotely can be challenging, but these tips may help you to guide your team through this dynamic and hopefully help them avoid burnout. Remember, that these tips may helpful for your own personal remote work situation as well!
Allow for flexible scheduling
Understand that the shift in the demands of balancing work and family may lead to your employees to realize that a different work schedule may allow for their productivity. Entrust your employees to complete their work with a schedule that works for them and you will provide them with peace of mind to balance these demands.
Recommend a dedicated workspace
We’ve all seen those social media posts of the makeshift work-from-home offices, but having a space can be helpful for them to identify ‘work’ space from their ‘home’ space. Having a dedicated location allows them to be away from work outside of their work hours.
With work life now being intertwined with home life, it can be difficult for employees to unplug and self-care. As a manager, encouraging your team to take breaks, get away and take walks, enjoy the outdoors, meditate, exercise, or do whatever is necessary to help them through the day will help your employees feel better and stay healthy. Offer encouragement and emotional support as much as possible.
With technology, being available for your team is easier and active communication is imperative with remote work. Set the expectations and be adaptable to different types and frequency of communication for different team members where needed. Note that some meetings may simply be a way to reconnect and see one another without discussing work. Social isolation can be one of the most challenging aspects of remote work, so include social elements so that all team members can feel connected.
Trust your employees
Often remote work triggers a response in managers to be concerned that the work is not being completed. Without a physical presence, this can be common, but this is an opportunity to trust that your employee will complete their work. Build this trust through regular one-on-ones to ensure your understanding of the work being completed, providing guidance and direction where needed. Create your rules of engagement to ensure that the work is being completed and goals and deadlines are met.
With the abrupt change to remote work, many employees have had to make drastic changes to their lives so understand that there may be distractions during those meetings where we all become the BBC Dad. Being compassionate during these times can go a long way to supporting your employee who is doing their best to balance the demands of their work and home life.