There has, for several years, being a growing trend towards working from home. Between the years of 2005 and 2017, there was a staggering 159 percent increase in the number of people remote working, with around 4 percent of the UK population working from home full time (prior to the outbreak of Covid-19).
Companies have become far more willing to give employees the option to complete tasks without coming into the office, and employees themselves have begun to relish the opportunity, with increased numbers embracing the flexibility it brings. In fact, research suggests that those who are given the chance to work from home are 57 percent more likely to be satisfied with their role.
We are, though, living in very unusual times. Covid-19 has meant that many businesses have been forced to move to remote working, and employees have now been forced to fulfil their roles from their living room.
So, if you are now having to manage a team remotely, what should you be doing?
1. Ensure that communication is key and set KPIs
You need to be certain that employees are not only aware of their own responsibilities but know they can reach you should they have questions or queries. Micromanaging is not preferable – it can be incredibly off-putting for employees and reduce their productivity – but you need to retain an element of structure. For more information on this, read our blog: How to keep hitting your targets as a remote team.
2. Utilise video calling
Video calls can be difficult to navigate at first – it requires the right links to be sent to everyone, microphones to be installed, and Wi-Fi connections to work – but they can be fun and entirely beneficial. Video calls can be a great way to check on your employee's wellbeing at difficult times. Take the time to speak to individuals, and make sure that they know they can speak to you whenever they want.
3. Use the right technology
It is essential that everyone in your organisation not only knows what tasks are required of them but that they have the capacity to carry out the work that has been set for them. This means having the right software – and sometimes hardware – installed and being sure that everyone knows how such technology can be used. Tools such as WhatsApp, Slack, Hangouts and Skype are all easy to install and use and can be useful when working remotely. For more information on this, read our blog: 3 tools to improve collaboration when working remotely.
4. Keep morale high
Offices tend to be most enjoyable when employees mix work whilst telling jokes and chatting informally with colleagues from time to time. Don’t be afraid to try and alleviate stress and worry with positive news stories, funny memes and interesting tweets. Also, encourage your employees to talk to each either, either virtually or via the phone; it is essential that nobody feels isolated, and understands that if they want to talk, you are just be a call away. You should also be sure to recognise your employees when they do something good for your business or to a team mate. For more information on this, read our blog: How do you manage reward and recognition in your remote team?
For more information on how to manage your team effectively, with tips to looking after employee wellbeing and productivity, download our handy guide: Managing the wellbeing and productivity of your remote team.