Working from home has quickly become the new normal almost worldwide. The move from working at a conventional office to a home-office setting is not easy for everyone. Many are used to managing their teams in the workplace. Handling on-site staff is very different form supervising a remote workforce. Here are some thoughts on how leaders can make the transition simpler.
Daily meetings and weekly reviews are essential. These help determine how well the remote workers are doing against their objectives. Managers must minimize their time spent in non-essential meetings. Instead, it is better to layout standard procedures and reduce real-time supervision. This way, employees can have more time to do their work. Implementing an online review system is almost a necessity. There are a wide range of virtual team management tools such as Clockify and Trello. Each business should seek out the team/task management software which fits best.
Keeping things interesting
According to Forbes, gamification will be used by 70% of the Global 2000 companies. It will increase engagement, retention, and revenues. Managers can incorporate elements of fun into any piece of work. Gamification can make work more enjoyable. Options range from virtual reality escape rooms to traditional online games and puzzles. Tartu-based communication service Weekdone published a report in early 2021. It said that having your team play dress-up for video meetings improves participation levels. Selecting the best costume each week is a kind of online ‘casual Friday’. People need to de-stress and keep moving forward. These activities break monotony when you’re stuck at home with nothing new to do. Fun keeps colleagues sane. Moreover, fun activities facilitate team bonding, which develops over time through shared experiences.
Periodic reviews and weekly check-ins should be accompanied by performance evaluations. A weekly check-in allows team members to review the work they have completed so far. It helps assess how well they are progressing toward team and organization goals. This allows managers to provide essential feedback. It is also a chance to extend assistance to employees who appear to be struggling.
According to a study done by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), aligning individual responsibilities with organizational goals is vital. It increases employee engagement and well-being by 49%. Keeping remote workers focused and engaged is important. The key is to establish multiple communication channels. All members of the team are important, and everyone communicates differently. Developing new ways to interact can help managers collaborate effectively. Executives must make quick business decisions to navigate the pandemic. It is critical to keep employees informed of how and why their work is assisting the organization in meeting objectives.
Task lists are more than checklists. Jayson DeMers, CEO of EmailAnalytics, recommends giving remote workers a regular or weekly task list to work with. It makes employees aware that they must submit a list of accomplishments or completed tasks. Having clarity on deliverables motivates employees. Task lists ensure that employees have something specific to report on daily and weekly calls. Some managers find it difficult to relinquish control. However, for successful remote working relationships this is necessary to some extent. Allow employees to take charge of projects. Have faith in their ability to complete assignments. America is home to millions of migrant workers. They are qualified and experienced professionals; seasoned experts in their domains. Expat professionals regularly send money online as remittances to support their families back home. As managers we should learn to rely on the expertise of our employees, and give them some space.
Matthew Ross, co-founder, and COO of The Slumber Yard shares this ideology. He says that employees should have more control over how they carry out their work. This significantly boosts motivation. “Employees take their responsibilities much more seriously when they have ownership over something rather than simply receiving and executing orders.” Whenever an employee does something positive, make sure to compliment them. “Occasionally, I’ll offer a slight token of gratitude, but other times, it’s just a modest ‘awesome job, keep up the noble work’ type of commendation”, says Ross.
New habits are not formed overnight. There could be a slew of issues. As leaders it is our job to make things work. To keep our remote teams running smoothly, we must demonstrate good leadership skills, positivity, and empathy. We must set an example of adherence to rules. Finding effective and efficient ways to handle remote teams makes managers’ lives easier in the long run.
About the author:
Hemant G is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs LLC, a Digital and Content Marketing Agency. When he’s not writing, he loves to travel, scuba dive, and watch documentaries.