One of the most common concerns for many managers is – can I trust my employees to be productive when working from home? And relatedly, “how do I know they are getting their work done”? This is a short piece we use to promote discussion in our new People Management Fundamentals workshop
1. Communicate, communicate, communicate
Communication is by far the most important component of making remote work for everyone. And not just sharing work related goals, objectives and projects, but also on a personal level. For example, joint coffee breaks via video conference help people to get to know each other in a relaxed and approachable manner. The better we get to know people, the more we trust each other.
2. The gift of freedom and trust
Many of us are afraid of losing control over our remote employees. After all, we can't check in on every single person at home to see if they really are working or taking care of their laundry. As tempting as it may be, resist the urge to take control, and trust in employees to meet important deadlines. Thinking about goals in the long-term and seeing the big picture helps to establish a team atmosphere of trust and appreciation. And being able to get your laundry done during your working day is an underated employee benefit.
3. Appreciation and praise
Regular positive feedback can help employees feel motivated, especially when working from home. Plan to use it regularly. While working remotely, appreciation for productive work is so important but make sure it is genuine and specific.
4. Knowing what's expected
Having a set of team agreements which guide behaviour, help people feel more connected to the team. Having a big picture objective that inspires them to do their best. And having clear expectations and deadlines, priceless, And then let them get on with it.
5. Areas of responsibility
Communicating clearly defined areas of responsibility help to track how a piece of work is evolving. This enables you to act quickly and, offer support where it is needed.
6. Regular contact
Regular contact compels team members to meet deadlines. Including regular updates stimulates motivation and accountability.
7. Use automated tools
Automated workflows help to keep track of things without the need to micromanage employees and make endless phone calls afterwards. Remote teams need an appropriate infrastructure such as shared folders and documents so that they can concentrate fully on achieving their goals.