Remote Workforce

3 Tips for Getting it Right

Have daily check-ins

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies and businesses have opted to make the transition from an office to a remote setting. Sadly, it’s not as easy as it seems. Working at home may seem to be the perfect job. After all, you’re doing stuff in your comfort zone. Yet, like any environment, you’ll likely experience some challenges from such a sudden transition. One of which is the lack of physical supervision. For supervisors, they worry that employees will not work as hard as efficiently compared to an office setting. On the other hand, the lack of management and communication can greatly impact an employee’s performance. Some may even feel that managers are out of touch with their needs, which may lead them to feel neglected and overlooked.

The endless distractions at home can be a real challenge as well. Parenting responsibilities can be a really stressful task. As time goes by, others may feel the lingering effects of social isolation. The sudden transition also might lead others to face remote challenges such as suboptimal workplaces and dealing with home demands. All of these can bring high levels of stress and anxiety, having a great impact on their productivity. This is why daily check-ins are such a crucial part of remote work.

Managers should make an effort to establish a daily call with their employees. This could be a series of one-on-one calls for employees who work independently from each other, or group calls for highly collaborative work. The key to effective daily check-ins is to maintain a regular schedule. This creates a culture of consistent, healthy communication. For managers, treat each call as a forum. Let your employees know that your virtual door is always open. Make them at ease by showing them that you’re willing to listen. This will help them to not have second thoughts when opening up about their concerns.

Provide a variety of communication options

Unlike in an office setting, emails alone are inadequate to relay information to your team. As you begin your transition to having a remote workforce, you need to establish several communication options to reach out to everyone. One of the best ways for communication? Video conferencing. Video conferencing is the closest thing you can get to have a real, authentic conversation with your employees. When everybody sees everybody on a regular basis, it reduces the feeling of social isolation. Video is also particularly useful to discuss complex or confidential information, as it feels more personal than a long email or audio call.

Establish rules for communication

Just like in an office setting, remote work will only become efficient if there are a certain set of rules to be followed. This is especially true in terms of communication. Managers must set expectations for the ideal communication for their teams. For instance, managers can establish a rule like this: “Daily check-ins → Videoconferencing; URGENT → IM.

Also, if possible, let your employees know the best time to reach you during the day. You can say something like: I’m more available to take calls late in the day, but if there’s an emergency in the morning, kindly send me a text. This sets the expectations of your employees and helps them to be mindful of the schedule of others. As you make your way to the transition, managers should set these engagement rules immediately, ideally during the first video call. This sets the tone of what the communication would be moving forward, keeping everyone intact.

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