With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, millions of employees began working from home. For many, the shift from working on-site to working remotely was challenging. Many employees began dealing with social isolation, distractions at home, and other obstacles that interfered with their work. Lack of in-person interactions meant managers had difficulty ensuring their employees were engaged and productive. As a result, managers needed to find ways to help their team members stay focused, feel a sense of belonging, and maintain their workload.
If your team still is working remotely, here are three ways to effectively manage them.
Communicate with your team throughout the day. For instance, keep them informed about deadlines, resources, and work-related challenges. Also, clarify whether a phone call, email, text, video chat, or intranet message is appropriate to share information about different types of issues. Additionally, find out how each employee would like to be managed while working remotely. Plus, set aside time each week for your team members to discuss personal or professional issues affecting their work. Actively listen, respond with empathy, and show support for their situation.
Regularly share with your team members exactly what you expect of them. For instance, when starting a project, review the basics, provide guidelines, and set boundaries. Set aside time to answer questions and clarify priorities, milestones, and performance goals. Also, keep your employees updated on policy and staffing changes, company successes, and tips for working from home. Let them know when business objectives change and they need to focus on something different. Additionally, establish expectations about responding to after-hours work emails and texts to maintain a work-life balance.
Keep track of where your team members are in handling their workload. For instance, ask for a daily schedule of the tasks each employee is working on and when they expect to accomplish them. Also, make sure they have the resources required to complete their tasks. Additionally, remember that your team members’ results are more important than the number of hours they work each week.
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