Now more than ever businesses are facing the challenge of having their employees distributed across a variety of locations while trying to continue with a ‘business as usual approach’, but let’s not get too serious about this, it is 2020, many companies have working from home a part of their day to day culture.
But what if this is all new to you and your organisation, how do you continue to manage your team and keep them motivated during such unsettled times?
It may sound a little obvious (and mundane!) but try and keep a routine with your team. Now more than ever it’s important that you’re checking in with them every morning – and it gets everyone out of bed! Use a morning scrum as an opportunity to reflect on any lessons learned or big wins from the previous day; share any tips and tricks for staying motivated and get the whole team involved so you’re not just talking at them.
It’s also a great idea to have these calls with video turned on. Okay, so not everyone wants their webcam in their face first thing in the morning, but being able to actually see your co-workers makes people feel that they are still very much apart of a team, and it will undoubtedly contribute to the wellbeing of everyone overall (more on that later). Top tip – grab a coffee and brush your hair and the camera isn’t so bad!
Schedule weekly calls – and stick to them! – to discuss anything specific to the business or ongoing projects. It’s vital that your team feel as though business is continuing as usual; they need to be engaged and have their finger on the pulse as much as they would were they in an office environment.
Aside from checking in with your team daily, make sure that you’re maintaining regular communication with them individually throughout the day. This doesn’t mean you have to be picking up the phone every five minutes, but just popping a DM or email over to them to see what they’re working on and if they need any support goes along way. Not only does it reassure you that everyone is being pro-active with their workload, but it also makes your guys feel supported, and that they can come to you if they need help – even if you’re in a different city.
Don’t just reach out to your employees to discuss work. In these times mental health is, or should be, on every single employer’s radar. It’s such an important part of society today and ensuring that your team’s mental wellbeing is okay is paramount when they are working from home. Don’t make it all about work, keep conversation light and let people know that you’re there as a human being as well as a manager; you’re really not that scary!
Why not start a conversation with everyone to chat about what they are doing to lift their mood and keep positive? It could be something as simple as a daily yoga session, crazy dancing or even just going for a walk. Open it up to the group and you’re guaranteed that someone will discover something new that could make a huge difference to their mental health.
Honesty Really Is The Best Policy
It’s an age-old adage, but it’s essential to be transparent with your employees about what’s going on with the wider business. Now, we’re not saying you have to reveal the latest financial reports or divulge the office secrets but be open with the team about where the business is, and where it’s going. This honest approach will not only reassure any team members who may feel worried or out of the loop but will also cement their trust in you as an employer.
Speaking of trust…it goes both ways. Perhaps the most crucial factor when managing employees when working from home is to trust them!
You hired them for a reason; trust them to maintain the same work ethic and level of efficiency at home as they do in the office. If there are warning signs, then you’ll know, but until it gets to that point have confidence in your team and they will have confidence in themselves.
In these modern times there are so many tools available to us to create a positive digital workspace, so don’t let working from home slow you down when it comes to driving your business forward. Keep our tips in mind and you never know, you may want to make remote working a more regular thing!