Some people were already working remotely before the pandemic, but it has since become a way of life for entire businesses and teams. Many of us are still trying to adjust.
If you're finding it difficult working with your staff or keeping on top of your productivity and routines in this new normal, here are a few top tips:
1. Communicate extensively, especially during times of uncertainty
Provide more depth and background to compensate for information that people can no longer pick up during informal interactions. Keep everyone moving in the same direction by being as unambiguous as possible.
2. Appreciate both effort and achievement
When everyone is working alone, there are limited opportunities for praise, so go above and beyond. Along with recognising achievements, acknowledge team members who are putting in additional effort and working more hours, those who have been dealing with stressful conditions, and those who have taken risks or tried something different, even if it didn't work out.
3. If anything doesn't seem right, raise the flag
It's more difficult to detect problems when team members are physically isolated. If you have an issue, speak out and ask for the opinions of your team members. Also, if you're sidetracked on a project, let your coworkers know. Identify problems as soon as possible to begin trying to find solutions.
4. The workday must begin and end at a set time
Burnout is common among those inexperienced in working remotely since it feels as if they never leave the office. Make a timetable for the start and finish of each workday. Of course, there will be evenings when you may need to work overtime, but make these an exception rather than the rule.
5. Remove as many distractions as possible
It's easy to lose track of time when working remotely and find you've spent an hour on social media or gone down an online rabbit hole. Remove social media from your work computer. Remove any interruptions you know will hinder your work by leaving your phone in another room.
TAKEAWAY: Working from home effectively is a discipline that requires time, focus and attention to detail. Your people and teams can be as productive as ever with a strong leader who understands the challenges and opportunities of remote working.