Times are changing, and while most of the world is working back toward “normal” around the COVID-19 pandemic, many workplaces have become more open to working remotely. So, what do we recommend management do to ensure employees have the support they need for successful remote working?
First and foremost, managers must assess the factors that can make remote work more complex and understand which areas of our “work life” need more attention.
Many well-intentioned organizations risk increasing the volume of actively or passively disengaged employees unless they actively work to put the right processes in place.
Here are six tips to ensure a smooth working from home (WFH) arrangement:
Credico recommends that all managers make sure their employees know that they have support and are aware that they are cared for every day. Remote working can be challenging for many people due to the lack of interaction, so a daily 5-minute check-in call with your team will make all the difference.
Over-communicate rather than under-communicate
Isolation can make working from home difficult, and communication and understanding can make things a lot harder. Working remotely means your employees miss out on the context of many projects that an employee in the office is more likely to see simply because they are in the workplace. Managers must ensure that tasks are explained in greater detail because understanding is more challenging via text and devices, especially when tone of voice is hard to gauge.
Use technology to your advantage
Technology has progressed to allow better communication and planning; use all you have at the click of a mouse to make everyone’s lives easier. There is no reason to talk back-and-forth over email when a 15-minute “face-to-face” video call can ensure direction is clear for all parties.
Outcomes matter more than activity
When in the office, organizations can often focus on hours over productivity as it’s easier to measure. Still, when working from home, it is more challenging to see how many hours employees put into their work – whether it is more, less, or the same as their contracted hours. Productivity may even increase when people are working from home. Therefore, employees and employers should focus on work outcomes and quality over the number of hours spent at a desk.
Encourage social interactions remotely
Isolation can become pretty bleak when working remotely. There’s a lack of social interaction, so we recommend keeping up “social” calls and activities that the whole team, and even clients, can get involved in.
Mentorship over management
The final and most important tip is to be a mentor over and above being a manager for your employees. Research indicates declining rates of mental health over the last year (or two) with “over half of those surveyed feel(ing) a pressure to disguise the sinking feeling that accompanies their difficulty in coping with both the stresses of the job and the stresses of the pandemic.” More than ever, employees need someone to lean on in addition to being a manager – so make sure you are supporting and offering mentorship to your team.
What additional advice do you have? We would love to hear your tips for creating an excellent culture for remote working.