Year after year more team members are moving to remote work. This rising trend has lead to new challenges for managers that historically have not been obstacles. This is not a trend expected to reverse, we must adapt. So, how do you manage teams working from home?
You need some form of tracking. It could be a calendar, excel sheet, or a tool to track what your team members are doing. If your staff is supposed to be working from home on specific project you can track where they are at in your meetings with them. Adding in completions percentages and notes. This is an easy thing to do so that when your boss asks you what your team is doing you have a full list ready to go and you can project out when your tasks will be completed.
For the most part, it’s very similar to managing staff in office. Except, you can’t look over and see what Susan in HR is doing or make sure Dan in Accounting isn’t watching YouTube instead of cleaning up payroll. You have to have trust. Trust that even though you can’t see what your staff is doing, they are working.
This leads to companies being a little more picky about who they hire and who they promote. You can’t see what anyone is really doing other than what they enter into the system. That project that took Jim in Marketing all day to complete could really have only taken him 3 hours. But you don’t know that. You could suspect that. But you can’t know that. So you have to trust, because without trust in your organization you will have a toxic environment.
Your teams need timelines. Give them tasks to complete and deadlines to meet. It’s easy to lose urgency when you work from home, but you don’t have to. You can harbor urgency in your organization by expecting it at all level and driving timeline on everything, always.
Clear Consistent Communication
For working from home you need Clear Consistent Communication. You can’t speak with ambiguity. Leadership and front-line staff alike need to communicate at the same level. There can be no interpretation to statement. You achieve this by speaking clearly, using as few words as possible, and being consistent with your internal messaging. All managers communicate the same message. All team members hear the same news, the same rules, the same answers.
Make Your Weekly One on One Impactful
This includes following up with them after one on ones and ensuring that one on one meetings are more impact. This could be the 30 minute or 1 hour a week you and this staff member have together. You have a lot of information to get through. Track what you are doing. Look at what was discussed last week and make goals to be achieved by your next meeting. Follow up with an email covering what you went over and their goal for between your next meeting 1 on 1 Track does this for you!