Managing employees who work from home

According to the Office for National Statistics, nearly half the UK workforce worked from home during ‘lockdown’. Workers enjoyed flexibility around when they work, and employers saw improved productivity. Relationships between leaders and their teams also improved as they each got a glimpse into each others home life.

 

Homeworking is here to stay. So, how here’s some suggestions on how to lead your virtual team and managing their performance.

1. Set up more regular contact

Great teams thrive on good communication and in a shared workplace, there are lots of opportunities for informal conversations to clarify or share information. To compensate you’ll need more 1:1 meetings, team catch ups and opportunities to work together.

2. Continually review and clarify priorities

Review and revisit the priorities for the individual and the team. Get them to share individual and team priorities, this will help all members work together. It will also build accountability and self management.   

3. Focus on effectiveness

Working from home can make people task driven, and spend less time on development. Keep development needs or learning opportunities on your agenda and plan your training to build long term effectiveness.

4. Maximise the use of technology

If you already have on line performance management systems or project planning tools, check it’s being used effectively. Encourage the team to use share drives, or drop boxes. In this way all employees have access to the all resources and information they need, as well as seeing the progress on any shared projects.

5. Continually build your relationship

We can all do with prioritising empathy, openness and awareness. Honest and open conversations build trust & confidence to share personal information. Always create time for social stuff and importantly resolve any conflicts quickly.

6. Connect people

This can be for a shared piece of work, developing a new idea, or to get a better understanding of others needs. Connecting people ensures you match tasks with the skills of each member of the team. However, it can also combat loneliness. This is often a challenges for those who work from home. Connecting people provide support networks and build relationships across the team.

 

And finally, now may be a good time to agree the protocol or ground rules for working from home. It’s always good to have a shared understanding of what’s expected and now is a good opportunity to update your employee handbook and the section on working from home.