Many organizations and employees are seeing the benefits of remote working—less expense on office space, better work/life balance, increased flexibility, and so on. That means working from home isn’t likely to go away entirely, even as the COVID-19 pandemic ebbs.
•Adjust your expectations. Even now, some managers may struggle with keeping track of employees who aren’t just down the hall. You don’t have to see each employee every minute of every day to know that they’re doing their job—you can’t do that anyway. Focus on KPIs, benchmarks, and deadlines to monitor performance at a distance.
•Share successes. When a remote employee lands a new client or does a great job on a project, don’t keep the news to yourself. Recognize positive accomplishments with a group email or in a Zoom staff meeting so everyone knows what is possible to achieve. This sends the message that you trust people and value their work when they succeed.
•Use technology for connection and accountability. You may not communicate every day, but don’t let that be an excuse to neglect your employees. Use email and other tools to check in often—not so much that you overwhelm them, but just enough to make sure they’re on track.
•Ask for feedback. Communication shouldn’t be one-way, especially when you’re distanced. Ask employees what they need from you in terms of time and resources. They may want more frequent or less frequent communication, or better access to information, to do their jobs. Respond as best you can to make the relationship flow easily.