If your company is relying on remote workers as the result of the coronavirus pandemic, you might need to be more astute in managing your staff.
Many employees find it challenging to deal with a sudden change in their working situation. Even your long-time employees might need more instruction or supervision.
That’s true even if you taken every precaution in technology for tasks such as document-sharing and teleconferencing.
Here are recommendations for more effective management:
Take greater care in explaining your expectations
Many employees working remotely for the first time often have the tendency to make incorrect assumptions and do things differently or contrary to your wishes.
To paraphrase an old expression, for new remote workers, this means being out of sight also means being out of mind.
So you must be extraordinarily clear about your expectations for collaboration, deadlines and deliverables.
Make your communication special
This means more note-taking on your part. Maintain a list of priorities and topics to keep you and your staff focused.
Do not procrastinate. Be sure to send emails on a regular basis and more often if needed.
Ask open-ended questions to get the answers you need. Always respond quickly to emails from your team members.
Be sure to have regularly scheduled times for communication with each person.
Understand when to write and when to chat verbally
Don’t make the mistake of relying solely on emails.
The danger in relying solely on emails means employees can misunderstand your intent and meaning. Make sure they confirm their understanding of any directives.
An email can also exacerbate situations. It’s best to have oral conversations for sensitive topics.
Make effective use of virtual meetings
Assuming you have state-of-the art teleconferencing capability, make sure you’re as adept at using it as your employees.
Whenever you have in-person meetings at your office, include your remote workers, too.
Know your staff well
This is especially critical if you have employees in distant lands. They probably have different life and work experiences than you.
This means they also might have different expectations about communication. This, of course, leads to misunderstandings.
Manage your boss
If you’re not the president, you have a boss. And if you have a board of directors, you have a boss.
So, if you’re telecommuting, maintain a satisfactory schedule of updates and progress reports, and get your necessary input.
Take extra precautions in hiring
Personally meet applicants. If that’s not possible, be extra careful in holding online discussions.
Along with the usual interview questions, screen for aptitudes in telecommuting.
Such aptitudes include feeling comfortable in working at home alone, communicating skillfully, managing time well, collegially working remotely on projects and being responsive.
From the Coach’s Corner, editor’s picks:
Coronavirus Prompts Best Strategies for a Remote Workforce – To achieve the most productivity with employees working from home as a result of the coronavirus, the right tech-contingency strategies will prevent disruption in your company’s operations.
Upgrade Employee Morale Amid Coronavirus Social Distancing – The key is to focus on efficiency, which is enhanced by high morale, especially if many of your employees must work from home. Here are four tips.
Tips to Make Your Telecommuters Feel Part of the Team – It’s important to develop and implement strategies for telecommuters to feel a strong connection with you and other onsite and offsite staff members. Here are suggestions.
Employee Morale in Pandemic Warrants Your Leadership – Even if you’re designated as an essential business and keeping your doors open, your workers know people are losing their jobs all over the nation. So it’s important for you to maintain a healthy staff morale by taking steps to ensure they have faith and hope.
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
-John F. Kennedy