The unpredictable and unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19 required the majority of organizations to shift to working from home. Though for a few, the shift to remote working is a dream come true, it is a nightmare for others. But regardless of how team members feel about it, organizations around the globe have either closed down or transitioned to working from home, and we must and have adjusted to this new trend.
1. Building trust as working from the home team
It will be a natural feeling in the first few days when you are managing remotely.
Consider all that you needed to learn when you became a manager. While there is a great deal of covering abilities while dealing with a remote team, there’s also a ton you need to learn as you shift your administrative responsibilities from an on-location office to a remote one.
How you will work is unique, it’s on a PC in your home. What’s more, how you notice your group is diverse now, as well; it’s additionally on a PC in your home, and not face to face.
Here are five ways you can start to build trust with your employees working from home:
- Communicate your expectations clearly
Nothing should be taken for given when working from home and communicating remotely. What is needed to achieve and what changes you have to make to the original quarterly goals and plans should be noted and circulated to your employees.
- Create new opportunities for connecting
Having a common mission assists, teams feel engaged and connected. What’s more, when they see that work is getting done, it creates a culture of responsibility. In light of that, think about what sorts of updates may be best for your teams to help stay associated and informed.
- Connect one on one
When you take meetings one on one, it ensures that each member of the team is working towards the same goal, that the work that is completed is right work and lastly, to check on the well-being and commitment of your team. It also stops larger issues from festering, allows regular and immediate feedback and promotes open communication while working from home.
Especially when communication is remote, managers need to be responsible for using emotional intelligence for showing empathy.
- Focus on feedback
When employees get used to getting feedback regularly in an office environment, working from home can lead to uncertainty and confusion. One of the essential vehicles to keep employees engaged are regular feedback, let them where they stand so that the chances of disagreements and surprises are less.
- Default to transparency
When working from home, more communication is better than less and keeping employees informed by sharing the information broadly is essential for transparency. Choosing the right medium and combination of communication works as an alternative for a long email.
2. Creating opportunities for communication and engagement
Being in an office provides you to have tiny chances to check-in and interact with each other. These check-ins allow you to see if a person needs a chat, is stressed or super focused, and does not want to be disturbed.
While working from home, these opportunities get missed. Thus, some ways you can make your team interact with each other are:
- Weekly or daily stand-ups: It is like sharing individual successes and plans that keep the team excited about its overall contribution to the company.
- Turn Slack into your town square.
While employees work from home, team members can feel they are not included in the team. And this can affect feelings of loneliness and separation that turn into low engagement and morale.
- Proactively head off miscommunication.
Communicating remotely often leads to misunderstandings and miscommunication as there is a loss of non-verbal communication. Also, people tend to perceive neutral written texts as negative ones. So then, shifting to voice or video chat is the one that needs to be carried out to avoid such topics.
- Watch out for burnout.
The fusion of the workspace and home space can often lead to a feeling of always being on the lock without setting boundaries. Thus, it is important to align with the team on expectations around availability and work output.
- Invest in team spirit
Not being able to spend time mutually can damage employees’ morale who enjoy working in an office. Thus, investing in team spirit by creating opportunities for informal interactions, sending care packages to employees’ homes can usually lift the employees’ spirits.
3. Optimizing productivity on a remote team
Employees and managers working from home for the first time might get nervous at how difficult it is to avoid interruptions and distractions.
Thus, ways to avoid a drop in productivity:
- Set and follow a schedule
When working remotely, work-life and home life can mix if you do not intentionally avoid them. Meetings, check-ins and off-hours can be a great way to create a group atmosphere.
- Create space for work
Employees are likely to open their laptops at the kitchen table and pushing the long workday next to breakfast, lunch and dinner without a dedicated office space. Organizations providing employees with a stipend to invest in some home office equipment such as a chair or desk can help them be productive.
- Create a plan for self-care
Under today’s circumstances, the reality of working from home is often a different experience than what is expected. Thus, sharing with the team that self-care is also an essential part of being productive. Mental health and well-being need to be managed by having more meetings with a superior to feel reassured about productivity and progress. Planning the workweek should include physical and mental well-being.
Maintaining and growing productivity as a remote team
As your group gets more work on working distantly, you’ll gradually understand that you can be comparably valuable, if not more productive, when you’re not in an office space. Numerous effective organizations have been doing it for quite a long time as of now!
However, whether you wind up moving 100% back into the workspace when this crisis ends, it will be a decent update that it’s not how your employees work that is important. It’s who’s working for you and what they are working on. Furthermore, that is something you’ll generally have power over when you recruit the ideal individuals for the right work.
We hope this guide has provided you with some trust in exploring the change to remote work and that you’re ready to utilize these tips to develop further engagement, communication, and productivity in your team!