Remote work has offered up many opportunities for employers and employees, ranging from flexible schedules, increased productivity and cost savings to the company, and makes companies competitive when recruiting new talent. And while there are significant benefits, that does not mean remote work does not have challenges. Some employees may have new stresses with remote work. But there are some steps that a company can implement to help reduce these stresses.
Establish Clear and Realistic Expectations
While remote work offers a greater flexibility level for employees, flexibility needs to be balanced with project deadlines and critical milestones. Ensuring that managers communicate expectations and deadlines to ensure company goals are being met is vital. Open and honest communication from both managers and employees, will make sure that the whole team is in a good space and performing well.
If a manager has clearly communicated expectations, it's also critical that they empower their employees to deliver on their projects. When you cannot see an employee all day long in an office, you may feel the need to micromanage to ensure milestones are met. However, that adds a great deal of stress to an employee and leads to dissatisfaction in the workplace. You hired the team for a reason, so like when they were in the office, empower them to make decisions and deliver on their projects.
Use Technology to Garner Insights on Work
While you want to empower your employees, you will also want to be sure that you understand how your team leaders are performing. This can ensure that productivity levels remain strong and provide early insight, not possible problems, including bottlenecks in projects, conference call fatigue, and email saturation. Remote employee monitoring can help you track their work to notice any signs that the employee is struggling.
Maintain Regular Contact
Organizing time to have meetings with teams and one-on-ones with team leaders remains an integral part of successful management. But as when the team was in the office, be sure these are productive meetings – have an agenda, set time limits, and ensure discussions remain on track.
Part of the office environment includes the opportunity to have social connections with others. Not every discussion in the office was work-related, and when working remotely, that shouldn't change. Zoom lunches or Slack coffee breaks can be a great way to keep the team connected and engaged.
Be Available as a Resource
Even though you don't have an office door, be sure your team knows you still have an open door policy. They should feel as though they can talk to you about their concerns and needs, just as when they were in the office.
While companies may have switched to remote work quickly during the pandemic, we have seen how successful a remote or hybrid office situation can be. Incorporating the right strategies and tactics will set you and your company up for long-term remote work success.