Work from home has gained traction over the last several years—and for good reason. Video calls, screenshares, and other modern innovations make remote communication easier than ever. However, with social distancing measures in place across the country, many companies are dealing with remote workers for the very first time ever. While this isn’t the ideal way to introduce your teams to working from home, you can still make it work. Here’s our guide on how to manage your remote employees and come out of social distancing with a team and company that are stronger than ever.
Take Advantage of All Forms of Communication
Communication is one of the biggest roadblocks of working from home. Your employees can no longer simply walk around the corner to talk to you or another colleague. Even the simplest questions can become obstacles. Fortunately, there are still several different ways to reach your coworkers. Emails and messaging applications are fast and convenient. Video calls provide essential face-to-face interaction. These and other communication methods work best when you use them together, so make sure your employees are taking advantage of all their available options.
Schedule More Face-to-Face Time
The best teams are the ones who get along personally as well as professionally. When you move unexpectedly to working remotely, it’s easy to lose that sense of camaraderie. One of the best ways to keep your team connected is with video calls. Schedule regular video check-ins, either with individuals or with your entire team, as well as larger department meetings. Not only will you give everyone the chance to see each other’s faces, but this will also keep everyone on the same page regarding updates and recent projects. However, work shouldn’t be the only thing you discuss on these calls. Make time for small talk and personal check-ins. Those coffee breaks and watercooler chats in the office are also an essential part of the workday. Do your best to keep them up when you chat face-to-face from home.
Be a Little More Flexible
When it comes to how to manage your remote employees, you have to be prepared to face certain complications. Your employees will probably deal with kids, pets, and other unexpected distractions at some point or another. Do your best to give them the benefit of the doubt. When your team knows you’ll be understanding about the small things, their day becomes much less stressful. If you can, grant a little flexibility in schedules and hours. In fact, letting your employees make their own schedules at home is a great way to keep remote employees productive. Trust that your team will still get the job done, even if their process looks a little different than it did in the office.