Are you an employer who relocated your office to your home because of Covid-19? Are you a manager looking to future-proof your remote team? Or are you simply trying to learn more about collaborating digitally?

Here are some ways you can better manage and lead a remote team.

One of the many barriers staff may face when they work from home is that it is much harder to gain contextual insight into what they are communicating. This is an especially prevalent issue over text-only communications, such as email, instant messaging and texting. For example, you cannot judge facial expressions, body language, or tone of voice. This may create potential problems such as misinterpretation and miscommunication.

If you are experiencing these issues, consider experimenting with other forms of communication. This includes video calling, sending voice messages, and short video recordings. By utilising other methods, you can test what works best, or you could even combine several different forms to what will be the most effective for you and your team.

Connect with your staff
For many people who are working from home for the first time, a very strong sense of loneliness and isolation can set it. This may be heightened due to social distancing rules – if they live alone, if they live far away from friends and loved ones, or even if they are missing “normal” life before the pandemic. Understand that these feelings are normal, and they will be prevalent amongst your staff.

Show your employees that you care by setting aside time regularly to check in with your staff. These are unusual times, and the simple act of asking someone how they are feeling could mean a lot to them. A weekly debrief with individual staff members or with your team could help boost morale, and you can gain a deeper understanding into how they are actually managing in such disruptive times.

Be Flexible
In the current climate where a large percentage of the workforce is still in flux, it is important to keep an open mind and be flexible about what productivity actually means. The mass implementation of working from home means it is no longer viable for many businesses to simply work from 9 to 5. Many workers have truly embraced the notion of flexible working. For example, your staff may prefer to start working later as they need to take their children to work before they will have a calm, quiet environment to work in. Other people may not have the luxury of a proper workspace, so it is important to assess your goals realistically.

What does productivity truly mean to you? Is it possible for your employees to complete work on their own schedule? Do your staff feel refreshed and energetic after a lunchtime walk? What are the best ways to keep your team motivated whilst ensuring all the work gets completed?

If you would like to learn more about management strategies, motivating your team, or improving your skills as a manager, then please contact CCGM Business Advisory on 02 8355 1655.