How To Manage A Newly Remote Department
There continues to be a certain degree of hesitancy when it comes to remote working. The concept of enabling employees to work outside of a central location and generally from their homes runs counter to many of the ideas regarding productivity in the past. How, many business leaders have asked, can an employee expect to be as productive at home?
What is interesting, however, is that following the essential transfer to remote working during 2020 and for a significant part of 2021, many businesses soon realised that the opposite is true. Employees who are given the opportunity to work remotely, it now seems, aren’t being underproductive but even overproductive. And, while this may seem like a potentially good outcome, over the long term it is quite detrimental.
With these new changes occurring, it is important that managers reassess their approach to leading a department and even reflect on the practices they enact in the workplace. As teleworking becomes more standardised, it requires business leaders to learn new approaches if businesses are to remain successful.
One of the biggest hurdles managers face is rethinking the performance potential of their team. One such example is that those employees who previously excelled in the workplace are the most likely to burnout when working from home because they are inclined to work beyond their hours, finding it difficult to separate their work life from their personal lives when the two are situated so closely together.
These situations can be mitigated with effective management. Personalities that might function differently in teleworking positions can be identified and treated accordingly, with department managers able to check in with their employees and ensure that they are taking their breaks.
One of the most frequently occurring lessons of management training in London is the importance of communication within a team. Many courses are now dedicated to making efficient use of online platforms and asynchronous digital platforms, all of which seek to ensure tasks are being completed as effectively as possible.
If communication breaks down, businesses stagnate. Remote working requires consistent upkeep of communication, with managers being responsible for upholding channels and forums. Video conferences are effective and should be held regularly even if solely for the purpose of casually chatting with employees, as this prevents any feeling of isolation from a team.
Employees should, when working remotely, be enabled and encouraged to achieve goals how they see fit. This does not mean the outcome changes, only the process. Promising a set deadline and result is made clear, employees generally perform best when they are able to navigate the process with independence.
One of the main reasons for this is that it allows them to manage a work-life balance, completing tasks around their needs instead of compromising either their private or professional life and ultimately creating situations of stress. For managers, this means potentially changing habits, setting out clearly defined goals and then taking a step back, checking in occasionally to ensure employees have the support they need.