LEAD FROM HOME

2.21.2022

3 WAYS TO STAY CONNECTED WITH YOUR TEAM VIRTUALLY

In the days before the pandemic, remote work wasn’t nearly as common as it is today. Many employers took an old-school view to working from home, i.e., they were skeptical of the practice and reluctant to allow it.

The thinking from some bosses was, if I can’t see what my employees are doing, how do I know they’re working? Now this wasn’t everybody. But working from home wasn’t nearly as accepted as it is today. Covid-19 came along and changed our workplace dramatically.

According to a fall 2021 Gallup poll, 45 percent of full-time US employees are working from home either all or part of the time. This has represented a seismic shift in the workplace. Prior to the pandemic, did you even know how to set up a Zoom or Teams call? Not many of us would be raising our hands. Now, regular video calls are commonplace.

The other interesting thing is that people are finding they are more productive working from home. And smart companies are always going to be on board with greater productivity. While there can be distractions working from home (looking at you, pets), there is also a lot of lost time in the office. Friendly chit-chat adds up. Commuting even more so. Without having to commute, you can add a lot of time to your day.

If you’re a manager, what do you need to know about succeeding in the work-from-home world? How do you build trust with employees you rarely, if ever, see in person? How do you know the important work is going to get done?

We’re glad you asked. Here are 3 steps you can take to ensure that you’re on the same page with your team even if you’re not physically together.

#1 - TRUST YOUR PEOPLE

If your company has hired good people — and you likely have — it’s worth it to trust them. Employees that care about their company and their career are going to focus on exactly this, whether they’re in the office or not. Yes, it’s tougher when you can’t see what they’re doing. But a little trust goes a long way. No one likes to be micro-managed, especially every second. Instead, you can set regular touch-bases to ensure you stay on the same page with your team.

#2 - BE FLEXIBLE

Smart managers realize that each of their employees reside in unique surroundings at home. No two situations will be the same. The traditional 9-to-5 workday may be attainable for some employees and impossible for others. People with kids may have more distractions than those who live alone. Be aware of this, and trust (there’s that word again) that your employees are smart enough to find success. It really comes down to knowing each of your employees, and empowering them to make the most of their unique circumstances.

#3 - OVERCOMMUNICATE IF NECESSARY

Everybody interprets things differently. When you meet on a project, you could assume that each member of your team will know exactly what to do next. Especially in a remote environment, it can be risky to assume that. So take the time to overcommunicate. Follow-up emails that recap the agreed-upon plan can be very helpful. Even a casual message on Teams or via text can be beneficial. You don’t want to leave anybody in the dark, especially when they can’t just walk into your office if they have questions. Communication is critical, particularly with remote work.

Building cohesive and effective teams equipped to succeed in 2022 is a specialty at Catapult. We can help your managers hone their work-from-home leadership skills, which will benefit your entire organization. Contact us today at (716) 256-1550 or info@catapultsuccess.com

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