What is the Solution To Better Manage Remote Working?
As we have seen before, more and more companies are adopting remote working. In this case, the challenge is, how do you manage a team remotely? What is the Solution To Better Manage Remote Working?
And what do you do when half of your team is with you in your office and the other half are remote employees?
For many managers, this is the new reality they have to face, and for collaborators and employees, they also have to adapt to teleworking, which can be challenging. What are the pitfalls and solutions to properly manage remote work?
1- Define the Best Remote Work/Office Configuration
Take the time to settle into your home.
Budget for the key tools like a laptop stands if you don’t have a screen or PC, the right chair to protect your back, or a headset if you’re on the phone a lot.
Try to separate work and family life as much as possible; otherwise, it will become “unmanageable,” and you will likely experience burnout.
Set clear limits on spaces and hours of work. Discuss these limits with your online co-workers, friends, or family.
Spend time at the end of each day to jot down what works and what doesn’t and re-evaluate this to make changes for the following week.
2. Ensure That Strict Daily Routines are in Place in Remote Working
People think they can work from home intuitively. But everything does not automatically fall into place. Think about how you are going to structure each day.
Make a clear distinction between working and non-professional spaces. If you can, work in a room away from the living room or bedroom. If you can’t, set up and then take down your workspace every morning and night.
Create “an imaginary journey”. It can be as simple as walking for 15 minutes in the morning before you start working out. Be sure to strictly follow government guidelines on whether or not you can leave your home. If you are going out, be sure to follow the correct social distancing protocols.
If you can, add rituals. And at the end of each week, write down your habits, put them on the fridge and stick to them.
3. Communicate Effectively from a Distance
Find a way to communicate your “limits” to your coworkers and manager.
Inform about your working hours (you may need to review this from time to time)
Be very specific about meeting times and call schedules and put them in a shared journal so your coworkers can see when you have an appointment.
Try to avoid communicating only through direct messaging (eg, Slack), as this can allow endless interruptions.
Try to avoid scheduling “video calls” or “video appointments,” for example, remotely to your friends and family – that is, you shouldn’t need to schedule calls with your loved ones; allow some spontaneity in your life.
4. Manage Distractions in Remote Working
Limit smartphone use unless it is vital for your work.
Use the right tools, whether that’s using time management tools to prioritize your work or creating specific times of the day for focused and efficient work.
Block 2-3 hours in the morning for substantive work and identify the key moments where you are most successful and/or productive.
Beware of Facebook and social networks more generally, as well as YouTube. You may have to go to work (there are work-related groups), but they are designed for distraction and are “time eaters”.
Email a to-do list at the start of the day to your manager and check that you’ve completed them at the end of the day. You can quickly scale to better tools like Trello.
5. How to Create a Work/Leisure Boundary
When you are at home, the smartphone can easily become a distracting device. Think of your laptop as a work device and your smartphone as a communication device.
Be efficient in using your mobile. IOS screen time and similar features give you a glimpse of reality and help you reduce usage for a healthier, happier life.
Avoid responding to business emails outside of working hours, otherwise, it becomes the norm. And there is no way to go back.
At the end of the workday, do something that makes you feel good – call your loved ones, play sports, or any other activity or hobby that you are passionate about.
How Can Management Adapt To Remote Working?
The Covid-19 pandemic has upset certain management practices for many companies that are unwilling or not ready to let teams telecommute remotely overnight. This raises several questions since the employees are at home and sometimes work even more than before.
This practice is spreading, and some companies will not go back. This change also raises legal issues that have caught many companies off guard. In addition, companies designed corporate policies before COVID-19 on a traditional management model known as “pyramid” for the most part. This resulted in employees working in an office physically.
Management must now be adapted to its new practices and the labor code may seem “obsolete” because your company policy must take into account a “time” which is no longer the same as before. Follow-up time must be taken into account, including overtime and breaks, so the allocation of time should be reconsidered. This can be a good time to define the expectations of collaborators who work remotely clearly.
1. What are the legal problems associated with teleworking for managers?
Be aware that the rules have changed, but how do you keep confidentiality? Teleworkers should know their privacy rights. “For example, just because the work is done on a personal computer does not mean that it is not likely to be monitored by the employer.” “Although the work location may be personal, they always act in the course of work as an employee at work. “Employers and managers, by a delegation of authority, must take steps to maintain the confidentiality of company information, including signing a non-disclosure agreement. They also need to make sure that they can retrieve files from teleworkers.
Remember that the employer’s responsibility extends to the home, what about the CHSCT? This is important because “if a teleworker is injured while working from home, the employer could be found just as guilty and liable as if an accident were to occur at the workplace”, “Most courts have considered the home as an extension of the workplace. “So companies need to consider their internal regulations and create a specific policy regarding work-related injuries that can occur in the home of an employee working from home. Also, how will collective agreements adopt? It may take some time.
2. Make Telecommuting Security and Remote Working
Make telecommuting security and remote working a top priority. To manage their teams, companies and managers should also restrict personal devices. Employees who work from home need secure access to company information, including using encryption, passwords, and network firewalls. VPN and network security, is this the solution? Teleworkers will undoubtedly have to work from a secure server or use a virtual private network. “This is especially crucial for business owners because, in the event that a teleworker compromises sensitive data, the responsibility lies with the employer.
Take into account the issue of hours actually worked and wages. Companies should realize that the company is responsible for wages and, therefore, for unplanned overtime. “Employers with teleworkers should, therefore, put in place a mechanism to track these hours and ensure their accuracy in the absence of a local team leader or manager to assess employee working hours.” “Companies should also encourage establishing a simple communication and reporting system between managers and teleworking employees. These legal issues may seem complicated, but with planning and forethought, a business can avoid problems and create telecommuting policies that will benefit the business and its workers.
3. What are the new challenges for managers with teleworking or remote working?
Many challenges and opportunities must also be taken into account. Although remote working has its own set of benefits and obstacles, as we have seen previously, by providing the right training and using the right vision and strategy, many of these obstacles can be overcome. Here are some tips on effectively managing your workforce when working remotely.
For managers who follow teams from a distance: Maintain “meaning” at work and above all, a “community” link.
Foster a sense of connection with your staff through virtual meetings. Even though these “meetings” are short, it helps remind your employees that even though they work alone from home, they are still part of a team.
As we also saw in the article: Make sure your team has the resources and training needed to do their day-to-day tasks.
Ask open-ended questions about your employees’ struggles or resources they might be missing. Their answers might surprise you.
Remote working is not easy, even when people make this choice themselves. For some, working remotely (telecommuting) creates anxiety. The prospect of freedom may seem exciting to others, but this “freedom” can soon become overwhelming, making people feel lost and helpless.
Everyone should think long and hard about what kind of person they are, and what style of work they like and develop the right work strategy accordingly. Think about whether you need outside help or whether you need to outsource some of your work to other people. Some people are good at self-management, but not everyone. This is why offices and teams were created in the first place and not all can be automatically transferred online!
Let’s be clear; it’s much more challenging to self-regulate when you’re alone, which is why many remote workers go to remote working spaces. People go to co-working spaces even if they don’t know each other because just being with other working people increases productivity. This concept is called “co-presence”, a term that will develop vigorously.
Finally, whether traditionally or remotely, teams must have “managers”, and the working tools. There is also “common sense” to keep in mind, remote presence and management cannot be improvised.
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