Even before the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, many businesses were transitioning to allow remote work. Now that most are required, the need for effective management of remote workers is more necessary than ever. Here are some ideas for how to adapt.
Learn The Technology
A manager’s first step should be to immerse themselves in the new technology they will be using to understand it fully. They should become familiar with as many features as possible, common issues, and how to troubleshoot them, security features, and how to best utilize the technology effectively on an everyday basis. This understanding of technology will help managers better interact with and support their remote employees. Many major companies are offering extended free trials, free support, and other benefits to help businesses adjust to working remotely. This is an excellent time to try out different options. Be on the lookout for new communication technology that may improve your operations as well.
Some managers might get anxious that they are no longer present to witness their employees’ work, which can make it tempting to micromanage. However, it will be imperative to realize that adapting to remote management means treating employees like professional adults and assuming they are doing their best. Frequent check-ins can be distracting at best and destroy trust at worst. Managers must recognize that employees might not be at their most productive right now and make allowances for that. That said, it’s still critical for bosses to remain in touch and readily available if needed.
Stay In Communication
Without face-to-face interaction, managers will need to rely on various forms of digital communication to keep their teams operating smoothly. Group messaging apps such as Slack and video conferencing software such as Zoom and Skype can all be incredibly useful for this. Messaging apps ensure all members of the team get the same information at the same time, while video conferencing allows everyone to communicate with facial expressions and body language in addition to their words. Managers should take care not to over-communicate but strike a balance to ensure everyone stays informed and can get help if needed. Communicate clear goals and instructions from the start.