With the rise of remote working, businesses need to ensure that their managers are well geared up, to ensure remote management that drives productivity and fosters team spirit.
In this article, we offer our advice to management looking to overcome concerns around flexible working and to better manage their workforce remotely.
Changing from behaviour-based to outcome-based assessment
On a day-to-day basis, managing remote workers requires a move from behaviour-based monitoring to an outcome-based mindset. Instead of solely assessing performance according to what an employee is seen to be doing, managers should consider the total sum of their output and establish an environment of mutual trust.
Innovative alternatives to face-to-face communication
Flexible working can create communication challenges, as employees may feel less connected with one other. This, in turn, can be detrimental to their sense of belonging within the team. Apart setting aside time each week when the team can get together, we also advise managers to use alternative tools like instant messaging and virtual meetings to foster more regular communication.
It's vital that with the growth of a virtual workforce comes the need to schedule online face-to-face catch-ups. If managers do not take the time to do so, they risk a negative impact on motivation, productivity and even team spirit. Take the time to schedule video catch-ups to keep communication lines open and to ensure you get the best out of your team.
Create a culture of flexibility
Companies should also strive to create an atmosphere in which employees do not feel they will be disadvantaged by flexible working arrangements. Some new joiners may struggle to learn if their manager or team members are not around. We strongly recommend that flexible working arrangements are discussed openly with all team members to ensure that everyone is treated equally, and simultaneously, that no one is hindered by others working from home.
Be mindful of work-life balance
With the use of mobile devices, the line between work and private life is blurring, and remote working can make the line between work and home life even thinner. We recommend not sending text messages after working hours, as people may feel that they are expected to answer right away. Managers should also keep an eye on their team's activities, ensuring that remote workers are not working excessively, as this can lead to high stress levels and even burn-out.
Download our Guide to Leading Remote Teams for more tips and strategies to effectively manage from home.