Many companies are now facing a situation in which employees will potentially be working from home if they aren’t already. Remote management is hard at any given time but especially when we have potential situations like COVID-19 causing panic, uncertainty and disruption to our personal and professional lives.
The work-from-home scenario is likely to increase around the globe and identifying some best practices for managers to keep your staff engaged and focused can help us all manage this situation with grace. I promise you can keep team camaraderie and spirit intact, even in this new reality! In times like this, managers who maintain a calm demeanour and practice positive leadership skills can help to guide their teams through a very uncertain period.
First and foremost, have regular meetings with your team. At Cint, we use Zoom for video meetings, and this is a good option for teams working across borders and remotely. During these calls, be prepared to share daily or weekly goals and give participants a chance to talk about their “wins” for the day. In order to keep the conversation on point, remember to focus on your company’s KPIs and ensure everyone is working toward the same goals. This is also a good time for a team member to share their own stories about how they might have overcome a challenge they faced. These calls should be directional, so they are a good use of time, but also interactive to replace the facetime you would have normally had in an office environment.
Working from home creates a great opportunity for focus but can be lonely and isolating, so ensure these meetings are fun. For example, launch a competition for the week – i.e. salesperson to be highest above target gets a bottle of wine. At Cint, our executive team members, like myself, are making ourselves available to join as many calls as needed to provide encouragement and direction.
Even in this environment, some people might want to go into the office and are comfortable with any risks that may be involved. As a company, you must decide your policies on this. We have chosen, at Cint, to support all methods of working – both remote and in the office.
From personal experience and research, I would also suggest you talk to your team (and those not used to working from home) about best practices when working from home:
Keep regular office hours
This sounds obvious but rhythm and routine are important as most people find that they either get distracted easily or work more hours than they normally would.
Plan and structure your day
To stay efficient, create your “to-do list” and prioritise. Create blocks of time to get things done in a row and then go for that much-needed run, cycle or coffee break!
Everyone likes a “onesie” and sitting around in their PJs, but as you will be on video calls, make sure you are prepared and look the part (even if it is only for your cat or dog)! Plus, you will feel more energized and ready to take on your day.
Set aside a designated place for working
If you don’t already have a home office, make a temporary one where all your tech is set up. Again, routine and consistency are key in order to create a calm and quiet place where you are comfortable and productive.
This is so easy when working from home, so, as above, keep to a schedule. It is very easy to get “sucked” into things (chores, household drama, etc) that will not create a successful workday. Ensure that you are disciplined with your time and it will make you feel more satisfied.
This is important as you could find yourself not moving from your desk. Make sure that you create a healthy balance between work and activity!
Written by: Indie Blackwell (EVP EMEA, Cint)