Like it or not, working from home is no longer a choice — it’s a necessity. For companies that have already made strides in flexible working policies, this transition may have been almost seamless. If you’re in this situation for the first time, though, it’s critical that you learn how to support your team as they venture into remote work for the first time. Here are a few ways you can do just that.
Be as Responsive as Possible
The world is almost wholly online now. Almost 45% of home buyers look online for properties, full events can be planned almost entirely via email, and shopping happens at the click of a button. The internet grants you the ability to be responsive no matter where you are. Use this to your advantage! Ordinarily, if someone on your team had a question, they could come to you directly. But now, we’re all limited to using chat tools like Google Hangouts and Slack. The more responsive you can be to your team when they message you, the better supported they’ll likely feel. And when you’re in a crunch for high performance, a team that knows their lead is responsive and supportive is going to perform at its best.
If you think you’ve shared a piece of information with your team, share it again. The free flow of information is crucial to your team’s success while they’re working remotely. Whether you have a team of 10 people or 50, it’s your job as a leader to make sure everybody is on the same page from day to day. New development with an important customer? Make sure the whole team knows. Change in process because of remote working? Now is the time to schedule a video meeting to explain it and answer questions. When you’re all working remotely, it becomes even more important to spread information throughout your entire company in a manner that is efficient and crystal clear. The better everyone understands what’s going on at any given moment, the better your team can perform.
Invest in Non-Work Interactions
Investing time in planning non-work interactions can go a long way when it comes to keeping your team supported. You may not join the ranks of Chevy, the most awarded car company in the nation, for planning a virtual happy hour, but it’s a start. The effort you make to maintain the relationships you’ve built with your team over what could be years working together matters more than ever right now. You can provide all the productivity tools and information you want, but at the end of the day, it’s you and your team. The emotional support you provide one another is a valuable resource that you need to use now more than ever.
You and your team, like 90% of Americans, might love living in a home surrounded by a grass lawn. But when your home also becomes your office, providing support to your team is paramount to keeping your business afloat. With these three tips and some practice, you and your team should be chugging along just fine.