“We know we’re in a transition. You can feel it. It’s going to be a different work world a year from now.”
– Kevin Waters, CEO of Clear Leader Group
An overwhelming amount of businesses find themselves scrambling to transition from a traditional work environment in the office to a remote model where employees work from home as COVID-19’s fallout affects us all. This can be an overwhelming transition filled with endless headaches. How can you ensure business continuity when strategies and schedules are completely interrupted with a sudden work environment change? We’ve created some free resources specifically to help guide you through these uncertain times.
The IT Company’s CEO, Paul Sponcia, has been hosting virtual conversations with local business leaders who have knowledge and experience with working remotely. Last week Paul talked with Adam Slack, CEO of Two Roads about the practical tools you’ll need to successfully manage a virtual workforce.
This week Paul had a conversation with Kevin Waters, CEO of Clear Leader Group, specifically about how to best manage a team when working remotely that promotes a positive team culture and in turn results in productivity. Here are the important highlights from their conversation:
- Set yourself up for success: Paul and Kevin both emphasized the importance of creating professional habits to prepare for the workday.
- Setup a specific space for work with some natural lighting, away from distracting activities, people, and even pets.
- If you have a family and your spouse is also working from home, negotiate a rotating schedule where both of your individual work responsibilities can be prioritized and there’s still someone there to take care of the kids.
- Get dressed and find time to meet virtually via video as often as you can. It forces you to get dressed and look professional.
- Work in blocks and schedule breaks in between to get up and walk away from your computer. Take a complete mental break. Get up, go outside, stretch your legs, play with the kids for a few minutes.
- Lead with success in mind: Leadership styles may have to evolve to be more effective with a remote work model, but this can actually be the chance to make sure you know your team and their needs and communication styles.
- Utilize behavioral assessments to understand your entire team’s preferred communication styles and needs. Some good options are The Predictive Index, The Enneagram, and The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. All of these can help you better understand your team members’ natural behavioral inclinations in order to make sure they’re given the right structure and projects for their needs and for your business’ productivity.
- Make time to just check in with your team. See how their day is going, something fun that happened, something frustrating. Make sure your staff feels supported and that their needs are met. Don’t make these conversations about accountability and what they’re checking off their list.
- Your team members are going to have different needs based on their personalities. Extroverts and introverts are going to need to prepare for meetings in different ways, so be prepared to have a flexible management style based on individual personalities.
Right now many of us are learning how to manage a team remotely for the first time. But just realize that the business world will be different even after the current events happening around us have resolved.
One of the biggest takeaways from Paul and Kevin’s conversation to keep in mind is to take care of your people. After all, your team is the engine that drives results for your business, and if you don’t take care of and manage your engine, your business can’t get where it needs to go.
If you find yourself facing the daunting challenge of setting your team up to work remotely for the first time, tell us below! A member of our team will be happy to reach out to you to find out how we can serve you during these changing times.
Overwhelmed with the process of transitioning your team to working remotely? Let us help set your entire team up for success.