There are best practices that can help managers to maintain productivity while employees work from home, said Hays recently.
“In order to succeed and make sure your team’s wellbeing is cared for – while also maintaining productivity – you might need to make some changes to your management style,” said Grant Torrens, regional director at Hays in Singapore.
According to him, there are six best practice tips for managing teams remotely.
Account for personality. While some individuals need constant access to their boss to feel secure and satisfied, there are also people who will be more likely to struggle when managing their time effectively and are less likely to check in with their manager, Torrens pointed out.
Managers need to encourage the former to be more self-motivated and independent while letting them know support is there for them when they need it, he said, adding that managers have to follow up with the latter to see why they might struggle to manage their time and arrange a plan or check-in schedule to help them adapt to remote working for an extended period.
Use the right tools to communicate. Good communication is even more important in when it comes to working remotely, Torrens noted.
“This means using tools such as Skype, Microsoft Teams and any video messaging apps to help with more open and face-to-face communications,” he observed. “Remember to make sure everyone has access to and knows how to use the tools, which you can ensure with proper onboarding and training when an employee first joins the business, or through additional training and simple tutorials for existing workers.”
Plug your knowledge gap. People might lose sight of the wider business goals and aims as well as a valuable point of reference in colleagues for finding out what else is happening in the organisation, Torrens said.
“Encourage communication as much as possible, whether it be between teams, between yourself and them or even between other departments or teams. Also advise your team to pay attention to any internal communications they are receiving, and make sure they are reading them,” he noted.
There’s a time for work and play. People might talk only about work when communicating remotely, he said, adding that this could be de-motivating.
“Imagine you were still in the office and think about all the things you would talk about with your team – make sure you are still continuing to do this. Keep things light wherever possible, arrange tasks and team building exercises making use of the technology at your disposal. Just because you’re all working from home, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun,” Torrens advised.
Delegate and trust your teams. Executives who manage multiple workers or teams will find it impossible to infiltrate into every aspect of their working day and this is why delegation is important, he said.
“Try to delegate responsibility as much as possible and make sure you’re demonstrating trust in your workforce to get the job done between them, without too much oversight,” Torrens said.
Be sensitive to schedules. With only a brief window in the day for exercise or shopping, you must give your employees the freedom to decide when their breaks will be, how they will spend them and when they get back to work, he advised.
“Managers need to offer support wherever possible while also making deadlines clear,” he Torrens pointed out.