Staying Connected While Staying at Home
Many of us are well into our second month of social distancing, which may include working remotely. While expected to complete job duties in new ways and continue to manage our teams effectively, we may now have other responsibilities on our plate. We may also be responsible for homeschooling, meal prepping and entertainment for our family, children and pets. While working from home can be successful, it takes a skilled leader to stay connected to their team members and keep them engaged and motivated.
Understanding the benefits and pitfalls of working from home is important when communicating with our teams and supporting them remotely. Effective managers recognize everyone’s situation is different. Here are some questions to ask when gauging how productive individuals on your team may be while working from home:
- Does the employee have the technology to work remotely? (equipment and access)
- What distractions might hinder the employee’s ability to complete his/her job duties?
- What does the workspace look like?
- How will the employee stay emotionally connected to the team?
Center for Practical Management offers the following tips for managers to engage employees and connect with them:
- Visual is Vital
- If members of your team are expected to video conference with clients or peers, it’s important that their background be minimal and professional, their audio and video capabilities sufficient, and that you practice with them before they are deliver a meeting to a client or prospect.
- Virtual Socialization is Imperative
- Many of your us have close friends at work. Encourage your team to virtually connect to these people and do this with your team also. This could be a virtual coffee break or happy hour, or lunchtime “meetup.”
- Preparation is Critical
- A virtual meeting requires better preparation and more skilled facilitation. Send out an agenda and any pre-work in advance of the call. Print your materials. Create a list of participants so that you can take a “roll call” at the beginning of the call.
Social distancing doesn’t have to lead to emotional distancing. We can keep our teams connected, engaged and productive even when we aren’t all working in the same location. We’d love to hear what you’re doing with your teams to ensure they feel supported and connected while working remotely?
Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavioral change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com.