Leading Remote Employees
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise around the country, businesses are being encouraged to allow employees to work from home when possible. While this is not feasible for every company or employee, some individuals will be working remotely longer-term. Employers are now tasked with supporting remote employees and effectively leading remote teams.
Employers and managers must acknowledge the challenges remote employees face including social isolation, communication issues, and distractions at home. Employers should examine their employees’ challenges and work to develop solutions to not only overcome them, but to help employees thrive with the benefits working from home may bring.
Leading remote employees takes clear plans, expectations, and communication. By providing employees with detailed information on their responsibilities and the company’s expectations, staff will feel more confident knowing what is expected of them.
In keeping open lines of communication between remote employees and management, the team can stay on the same page and continue to feel connected. By using instant messaging or video chats, staff can feel less isolated. It is easy for both employees and managers to distant themselves while in a remote environment. Offering emotional support and encouragement to employees can help remove these barriers and boost morale.
For those employees who are able to conduct work at home, it is important to also look at the advantages it brings the employee and the company. Many feel confident in their abilities to adequately perform their roles remotely and may even feel more productive working out of the office setting.
Each business is different. Adopting a work from home policy will have its unique challenges and advantages. By creating practices that work best for the company and accommodating remote working, businesses can plan for effective and productive teams.