One thing to keep mind of during these times, is that working remotely is not something uncommon. A conducted in 2018 study stated that 70% of professionals around the world telecommute at least once a week with over 53% of the workforce working half a week or more. It may seem like an entirely new and sometimes exhausting experience spending so much time working from home, but it may be comfortable to know that it is not an uncommon occurrence.
It is a difficult time for new remote leaders, so how can you manage your employees effectively from afar?
There are many aspects and difficulties that arise when an entire company works from home. One thing companies realize immediately is the change up of communication. A conversation that usually could take place in the hallway or resolved over a quick talk, now becomes a scheduled call over Zoom or Skype. To find out the best tips on how to be an effective remote communicator, tune in for Johan Eriksson’s talk on remote leadership. In this discussion, Eriksson discusses the three principles that he uses at IBM no matter what is going on in the world. Having sturdy pillars during this time is more essential than ever, so this information you don’t want to miss
Additionally, it is also important in these times not to get frustrated by communications but be patient and find the solution.
When an idea is misunderstood in an email, or a slack message is responded with a “?” it is important to pause and reassess what was said.
Most of the time it is a simple misunderstanding that can be cleared up quickly. Quite simply, “cooler minds prevail”.
This topic will be covered heavily in IBM’s Patrick Couch’s talk “For teams that act fast”. This excellent discussion will go over how newly distant organizations can keep up the pace why away from their office.
Luckily, leaders of newly remote teams will not have as much difficulty fostering connection as leaders of companies that have been fully distributed from the outset. Teams that have gone remote because of COVID-19 will already have an in-person foundation upon which to build. It will be up to leaders, therefore, to keep these connections strong even though individuals are not seeing each other face-to-face.
According to research from Google, some of the most effective ways to accomplish this are embracing video conferencing and dedicating a few minutes at the beginning of each meeting to open-ended questions, such as “What are your weekend plans?”
This topic will be covered fully during IIH Nordic’s Steen Rasmussen‘s presentation on remote culture. In this talk he will demonstrate how different tools and initiatives can be implemented during this time in order to boost remote culture and connection, while also driving efficiency in the workplace.
One thing that is also important, to be communicated with employees, is a sense of connection. This sounds difficult, but actually, a company that decides to go remote has a major advantage over completely remote companies. There is already a community structure in place. As a leader, you have to be able to maintain a connection through these times even though everyone is remote. There are a variety of ways to do this. Many companies have adopted a daily ‘coffee break” where workers have a video call and chat about life. It may seem insignificant, but it maintains a semblance of normality during these times and can keep morale up and employees driven.
One of the most important tools that all remote leaders need is trust. To do this, you must keep a sense of community in the workplace, even while everyone is away. By maintaining this ‘togetherness’ and sense of belonging, performance and effectiveness will increase during this troublesome time. Keeping tasks, goals and objectives clear is one of the most effective and simplest ways to keep this trust. Keep everyone on the same page, and everyone stays happy.
During this time, it might also be an excellent opportunity to practice positive reinforcement with your employees and coworkers. Not everyone is adapting to the unfamiliar work from home lifestyle so gracefully, and there can be many roadblocks along the way.
Taking the time to make a compliment or congratulating a coworker can go a long way in maintaining unity and trust during these turbulent times.
There are many things going through people’s heads during this time of crisis, that isn’t an excuse to sit back and wait. Now is the time for leaders, and more specifically, remote leaders. Learn from the experts and get the tools you need by booking your free reservation at Digital Workplace Summit 2020.