Monday, August 17, 2020
“Out of sight, out of mind”—you’ve probably heard this motto before and it could very well apply to work-from-home arrangements if you don’t pay attention to the challenges this flexible business model poses. Indeed, remote management requires very different soft skills than the ones managers use for in-office employees.
In pandemic times, working remotely is the new normal and most team members tend to embrace flexibility. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly one third of the U.S. workforce are able to work from home and 98% of people would like to have the option to work remotely for the rest of their careers. Amongst many other tech firms, Google is moving in this direction as well—the Silicon Valley giant announced that employees who don’t need to be at the Googleplex can work from home if they want to. So now, the key is to master how to energize and empower teams in a remote work environment—just as well, we have a few best practices to share to help you successfully address this new challenge.
Information, data and documents have to be accessible from anywhere and at any time—that’s when storage and file-sharing services come in handy. G Suite, Office 365, Dropbox and iCloud are great solutions to encourage collaborative work, prevent process and role overlap, document changes, and quickly answer “which version is the latest one, again?” questions. As a manager, it is your role to provide structure. This is not a task to be underestimated and delegated to an admin. In the virtual world, the ontology used as a reference for the team is a serious matter of discussion.
Sure, keeping your camera off can save some bandwidth and improve call quality. But unless technology is really not on your side for a specific meeting, always turn your camera on and ask team members to do the same. It’s a matter of respect and it’s also the best way to engage team members to create a transformational experience—otherwise, “invisible” participants may feel free to lose focus and multitask instead of paying attention to the meeting agenda.
Asana, Trello, BaseCamp, Jira, MS Projects… countless useful platforms and tools can help you gather information, aggregate data, assign tasks and overview projects from a website update to a product launch or the development of new health and security plans. These multipurpose tools are perfect to work asynchronously—you won’t need to ask the whole team to connect at the same time since team members can interact as needed and work toward their goal at their own pace using a shared roadmap.