The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust a good portion of the U.S. workforce into the previously unknown arena of remote work. Transitioning from office to home has not been tough just on employees, it has also been tough on managers tasked with keeping things together during these unprecedented times.
Managing employees remotely is not easy. However, over time, it should get better. Below are three tips any struggling manager can employ to keep things on track.
The key to any relationship is communication. So, while employees are working remotely, managers should make a concerted effort to keep the lines of communication open. This includes opening as many channels as possible.
Choosing one option – like email, for example – is not going to work in our hyper connected society. Team members need multiple communication channels including social media, private chat, and even text messaging. The more open lines there are, the greater the chances of effectively communicating.
Meeting daily with team members can help morale and keep productivity on track. Meetings don’t have to be formal or long. Even a 15-minute video chat can do the trick. The point is to simply connect to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Once everyone has adequately adjusted, and your workflow has adapted to the new normal, you can decrease the frequency of meetings.
Finally, working remotely is open to all sorts of distractions. Managers can help themselves and their teams by establishing clear expectations that work to keep employees on task. The team member who knows what is expected during a given workday is more likely to meet those expectations than one who is left to fend for himself.
Remote work is a whole new world for many managers and team members alike, but it is not the end of the world. Open communication, check-ins, and clear expectations will go a long way in helping your team to get through this.