As Corona Virus continues to disrupt our working lives and in fact just about every aspect of our lives, we will need to continue to adapt.
One of the more common changes to hit the commercial world is the need for team members to work remotely.
Here is a simple Five-Step Process to Manage Remote Team Members:
There needs to be structure. In order to be effective, team members need to have structure to their communication and workflow.
Set meeting times and agendas need to be established (more on this later). There also needs to be structure to the way work and progress is reported.
2. Remove isolation:
One of the benefits of working as a part of a team is a level of camaraderie and a sense of belonging.
Treating the team member as if they were in the office is important.
Allowing them to talk with you about the day to day things is important, so don’t limit communication to purely work just because they are no longer a few paces away.
Encouraging sharing on group chats such as WhatsApp or Microsoft Teams is a great start.
3. Focus on outcomes
What they achieve is far more important than when they are working on it.
Whilst the aim is to keep remote working as close to the office environment as possible, there will be distractions.
Accept that from time to time they may be distracted by things at home.
As long as they are meeting expectations on delivery and quality, don’t sweat the small stuff.
4. Be clear on Expectations
Be crystal clear on expectations around working hours, how long it should take a team member to respond to you or another team member.
How do you expect them to communicate with each other.
5. Monitor their mental health
Make sure you are as focussed on how effected they are as how effective they are by working from home.
For many it will be a treat, for some a chore and for a few, quite daunting.
If you want some ideas on how to structure the meetings here is afour step process.
Hold weekly 1:1 chats
This should address the personal aspect from step 2 above for a brief time and then get into,
- what have they worked on,
- what were the challenges,
- what help do they need and
- what is in plan for the week ahead.
2. Group WAR meeting
This is a weekly action review so that each team member knows what the other is doing.
This would normally be transparent within the office and would not normally be covered in a weekly ‘team” or “sales” meeting so set a short time aside each week for this.
3. Set up a group chat such using Microsoft Teams
4. For key people, ask for a daily check in. Basecamp has a provision for that.
The bottom line is to continue to give your teams more structure and recognise the risks of isolation which can adversely effect performance.
If your team needs to work remotely, set them and you up for success and remember to maintain a healthy dose of humour and personality.
Remember social isolation doesn’t mean emotional isolation!
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