The recent pandemic has helped to combat negative perceptions of remote working, as employees across the country have taken to working from home with successful results. Now that organisations and employees have adjusted to this new way of working, a full return to the office is looking doubtful. Research from Direct Line Life Insurance reveals that 44% of workers plan to request permanent flexible working arrangements after Coronavirus restrictions are fully lifted. With demand for remote working on the rise, and employers recognising the benefits of using a flexi workspace, there has never been a better time to embrace flexible working arrangements. But how do you ensure you get the most out of your homeworkers? There are a number of areas you can consider to ensure your remote workforce are productive, happy and safe to carry out their roles. Below we look at some key tips that will help you do this.
Accept remote workers
As a manager, you need to recognise that the landscape of the workplace is changing, and in many organisations remote work is here to stay. With the right support, communication and training your remote workers will be productive and feel part of the team, even if they are miles away. Keep team morale high by ensuring your remote workers feel supported and valued.
Adapt your management style
It is understandable if you feel that you lack control of your team if they work remotely. However taking the time to recognise the differences in managing your team from the office and managing your team while they work remotely will help you gain important perspective. You will need to make changes to processes and understand each of your team's availability. You need to build trust and set expectations to help projects and tasks run smoothly. Daily or weekly reports from individuals may help keep you updated with what your team is working on, and introducing 1-1 catch ups or team meetings over video calls will ensure regular contact. Having an informal catch up with team members as you pass by their desk is now not possible so adapting your management style is essential to keep on top of any achievements, issues or concerns. This will help your team work productively and efficiently, and assist them in planning their daily schedules effectively.
Using a variety of communication methods is so important to engage with your remote workers. Use telephone calls, video calls, email and instant messaging to keep in contact and make sure communication is clear and concise. Make yourself regularly available so your team knows how to reach you with any immediate queries or concerns, to help ensure maximum productivity. Also set a time to discuss weekend plans, family life or anything else not related to work to help develop bonds and show you are interested in your teams lives. A 10 minute video chat over a morning cup of coffee will not only strengthen your team but will help build company culture. It will also allow team members to get to know one another and encourage them to reach out for support when needed or share information. Plus being interested in your employees will help them feel more comfortable coming to you with concerns. If team members are comfortable with communicating they will be able to get their voice heard.
Provide training to support your team
iHASCO’s Effective Remote Working training course is ideal to support your remote workers and help them thrive. It provides information on setting up a productive workspace, how to set boundaries to help separate your work life from your home life as well as how to fill your daily schedule. It also covers how to build good communication, when part or all of your team are working remotely. The online course can be completed in just 30 minutes. Why not sign up for a free trial?
You can also download our Managing a Remote Team white paper, which gives you a wealth of information to help you build structure and trust among remote teams, remove obstacles, effectively communicate, strengthen relationships and more.
It is important to ensure that staff members who work from the office or remotely feel an integral part of the team. Utilising technology and making small changes to how your team works can have a big impact and ensure you get the most out of them.