Managing a remote workforce can be challenging for both the manager and colleague, particularly when it's new and only temporary, and it's important to think about what working from home looks like for your team.
To ensure everyone's health and wellbeing, as well as ensuring your business continues to function, communication and support is the key. The following guidelines may assist you when managing a remote workforce. If you need any support, please reach out to your HR support or contact LGIS.
Ensure you and your team have the resources you need to stay connected. Phone numbers, technology, equipment and internet connectivity is a priority.
Eliminate any roadblocks, to decrease any feelings of isolation and ensure your staff know how to use it and who to contact if needed e.g. IT Helpdesk Numbers/e-mail addresses.
- Be clear to your team that you and the business are there to support them.
- Provide regular group updates, this is a great opportunity for staff to see and speak with each other, similar to what they would do in the office.
- Ensure that you regularly check on colleague's health and wellbeing; try doing this one on one rather than in a group setting. Don't be afraid to talk openly, this is a time to connect with each team member individually - look out for signs and symptoms, change in character be in tune with your staff.
- Don't overdo it though, you don't want staff to feel like you are checking on them all the time.
- Businesses need to adapt and make decisions on how they will operate. Involve your staff in these decisions, it provides ownership and creates value.
- Share the good things as well as the challenges. This creates perspective not weakness and allows your team members to feel safe, supported and able to share their views.
- With staff working remotely, it is important that they continue to work productively and professionally; this again shows their worth and maintains motivation.
- Determine work schedules, hours of work and priorities. Work with individuals – considering that they will may have additional distractions at this time e.g. spouses working from home, home schooling and carer responsibilities. Everyone has a story.
- Provide guidance on work from home strategies and set up.
- Schedule your catch ups so people can plan and remember that supervision requirements have not changed.
- Provide after-hours emergency procedures and methods of communication.
- Remember to be kind and patient with your staff and also yourself.
Staying on Top & Leading Well
- Create opportunities for collaboration for team members to work together or across teams on projects.
- Introduce icebreakers in meetings; share photos of home setups, run competitions, maintain a sense of fun.
- Foster and encourage interaction between colleagues. Not everything has to involve the manager.
- Celebrate successes of individuals and as a team.
- Ensure workers have access to EAP and similar organisations.
Where can I go for help?
- Don't be afraid to ask for help as this is new to a lot of us.
- Reach out to your HR department, your manager and LGIS.
- Reach out to your EAP provider, you may have your own or you can access the counselling service through LGIS.