The current public health situation may require managers who have never had distributed employees to learn how very quickly. Three key points to keep in mind as you adjust:
- Deadlines and deliverables. Your team members’ time is no longer about physically being somewhere and “proving” that they have been in an office for 40+ hours/week as a measure of accountability. You’ll have to lean much harder on project plans and hold people to deadlines and deliverables as the primary system of accountability
- Clarify communication channels. What is email for? Chat? Text? Other forms? Be clear and consistent with how they are used, including expected turnaround times for responses.
- Working from home is hard for a lot of people. For example: If there is no private space to get work done, if they are in the middle of kids, dogs, roommates, and a host of other daily distractions…go easy. First time remote work is challenging for most of us and you will learn a lot about your teammates’ home lives. What is happening at home is no reflection on the type of employee they are. Do your best to brainstorm ways to help your teammates get their work done, even if it means shifting their deadlines and deliverables.
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