Since Covid, things have changed dramatically in terms of the way we work. We will probably never completely go back to the way they were. Many companies have realised that their workforce may be just as productive – perhaps even more so than they were before – chained to their desks 5 days a week, and now many employees are asking for a more flexible work:life balance with some continued home working.
So how do we best manage our teams remotely?
Pre-pandemic we all thought meeting in person was the only way to do business with positive body language, eye contact and a firm handshake being really important.
Now we are all working remotely, we now find communication is even more important than ever before. Much of our daily communication is done through email or text. As those mediums are notoriously easy to mis-interpret, it’s worth taking the extra time to make sure you’re as clear as possible.
However, I am finding that I love a Zoom, Teams or WhatsApp meeting. Whether it’s an early team call to get the day started, or a business meeting a new customer, I now much prefer these mediums to the telephone. OK it’s not quite the same as face to face, but you can build relationships and gauge reactions with these online tools. And as a leader in my business, it’s really important for me to remain visible. We must be able to communicate important messages and progress towards shared goals. Doing this visually means you are able to take your team with you.
Now that most business leaders have found their staff are working very effectively remotely, they have come to realise that most people want to do a good job at work. They want their company to be successful and they want to contribute to that success. Once you accept this premise, you should be thinking about empowering your staff to do the work you’ve asked them to do. And also, trusting that it will get done. So, make sure you are communicating key targets with your remote workers. Also, agree deadlines to ensure work is completed on time.
If you’re still concerned about managing workflow and activities, why not take advantage of the many online tools available to measure and manage tasks, such as work management platforms?
We all know how important networking is to build good relationships with new and existing customers. Whilst face to face networking has virtually stopped, online networking is growing and easily accessible. There are many online sessions and forums available where you can listen and join in with debate and discussions. Making the most of the video medium will contribute to the future success of your business.
So whilst networking may have moved online for the moment, that doesn’t mean it’s any less valuable. So it’s important to encourage your team to invest time and energy in building up their contacts. Also, staying in touch with those they already have.
In summary, we all have to make adjustments to the ‘new norm’ and those that make the transition more quickly will not only have a happier and more loyal workforce, but will have the ability to attract a whole range of new talent not previously available geographically pre-lockdown.