Companies can provide remote support to staff who are working from home. Here’s how you can minimise frustration in your team as a manager:
Make it clear to your team members that their work is important to the company and explain where the current priorities lie. Keep your expectations realistic and take into account the limitations that result from working from home.
Keep in contact
Show your team members that you are there for them, even if you aren’t seeing them in person every day at the moment. Also convey that you trust them. A phone call with friendly intentions can quickly be seen as you checking up on them. Use your instincts.
The infrastructure that your team needs to get through the day smoothly spans many areas. Is the technology working? What are their childcare arrangements? Talk to them to find out how you can best support them.
Don’t turn everything upside down
Many established structures and processes that have been shown to work at the company can still be maintained when working from home – even if they take on a slightly different form. These routines provide continuity, which is particularly important in times of crisis.
Employees can actively take charge of organising their day-to-day work at home. Here’s how:
The sudden surge of freedom can be stressful, but it also offers the opportunity for staff to prioritise their own tasks as they see best. This can create lots of new, positive energy.
Stick to times
Even though self-isolation is an exceptional situation, you don’t have to be always available. Let people know by email or phone when you are working and when you need a break.
Become your own manager
Try to keep your desk at home as clear of personal belongings as possible. Remember to have regular breaks and make them relaxing, do some exercises or go for a walk.
Clarify with your manager and colleagues how you can pool questions and information and how to organise communication processes so that you don’t overload each other.
Above all, working efficiently means minimising disruption and interruptions. Discuss how this can be done with everyone in your family and try out different suggestions.
Look after each other
A virtual meeting with colleagues might not be quite as good as face-to-face contact, but it is certainly better than not talking to anyone at all.