By now, the novelty of working for home has worn off. The statistics suggest that working from home was a growing trend in the United States before the COVID-19 epidemic. But the realities of the virus are that many companies that hadn’t adopted a remote business model were forced to as a way to comply with social distancing rules. How can managers new to the idea of a remote workforce successfully manage these teams? How can you keep productivity up when many of us are entering our second month of quarantine?
Tips for Remote Management
Working from home can be more productive, but there are times when there are more distractions but also fewer social interactions that can stimulate and inspire workers. Effective team management requires some creativity to keep teams motivated. Here are six suggestions to help managers improve productivity for as long as remote work is the new normal:
1. Provide up-to-date technology
Make sure your teams have the most up-to-date technology tools to help them engage with all of their team members. Use videoconferencing so workers can see each other and interact face-to-face. Instant messaging tools such as Slack can help recreate those pop-up conversations that workers have in the office. Use project management applications to keep workers accountable and projects moving forward.
2. Check-in regularly with your team members
Managers are missing the daily face time they once had with employees. While we’re not suggesting managers become micro-managers, it is a good idea to increase the frequency of your communications with your workforce. Establish a routine of regular check-ins to make sure your team feels connected to the larger organization. Having a daily standup meeting where the team shares what they’re working on or any issues they’re dealing with could be potentially helpful to keep everyone engages.
3. Help your employees establish dedicated workspaces in their homes
This will greatly aid their productivity if they have the space to set this up. A dedicated workspace can help parents “escape” children stuck at home due to school closures. Some companies even offer additional financial help so that workers can set up productive office spaces separate from communal living spaces.
4. Provide steady emotional support
Working from home can create a sense of social isolation. Conversely, the one tool we have readily available is the Internet to keep us connected with the outside world. But studies suggest that social media actually makes us more unhappy. So, managers must create a consistent, calm, supportive interaction with every employee. Establish routines that support and encourage workers and help lessen their stress. Communications with workers should include positive interactions and share helpful suggestions like how to engage in self-care, get enough sleep, and plenty of exercises.
Organizations should also similarly support management teams in their efforts to help keep connections with workers. Setting the expectation that we’re here to support one another is a philosophy of PrideStaff. Talk to our team if you need additional support with your remote staffing solutions. We can help.