As we continue to adapt to the changing landscape of work and what it means to translate your in-office tasks to home-office tasks, we have all been faced with the opportunity to reallocate our time, square up to our working habits, and find new and creative ways to stay in touch with our work colleagues.
As an employer, you may have been feeling extra pressure to not only handle your own working transition but also to manage the transitions of all of your employees. If you are having trouble creating a remote work policy that is healthy for both your workforce and your company, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Task-Based Work vs. Time-Based Work
Before this year, many remote workers chose or preferred to work remotely due to a variety of circumstances, be it location-independence, family management, personal accommodations, etc. Today, though, we can safely move from saying “the future is remote” to “the present is remote,” and we haven’t had a lot of time to prepare for that immediacy.
Because we were very quickly thrown into this brand new world of work, it’s abundantly apparent that working from home does not work the same for every employee. For this, flexibility is the operative word and will continue to be so for the time being. But, how can you craft a remote work policy that is flexible without being unfair?
As a manager, you know that every employee works differently; some are driven by to-do lists and others are driven by schedules and set hours. While in home-office, your employees may face a variety of problems with inadequate office supplies or equipment, working with their kids at home, caring for elderly parents, etc. It is unrealistic to expect everyone to keep to the same clock, so instead of focusing on hours worked, shift your priority to tasks completed. This way, when life demands your employees’ attention during the usual 9-5, they will know that it’s no problem to accomplish their tasks outside of those hours if necessary.
Monitoring vs. Surveilling
While there are a host of software solutions designed to track the activity of remote workforces, these may not be entirely appropriate to use heavily during a global crisis. Again, it is likely that not all of your employees are able to enjoy business as usual during this difficult time, so endlessly tracking their every move may be counterproductive and discouraging to employees who are facing extra challenges.
Instead, prioritize in your remote work policy a dynamic communication rather than spying on your employees’ activities. There is a difference between monitoring and surveilling, in the sense that you can still check on the status of projects and the well being of your workforce without attaching them to time-tracking or computer-observing software. There are plenty of less-invasive platforms that you can utilize (including RootLo!) and these make it possible to organize tasks and keep in touch. Working environments built on trust and accountability are healthier places to work than those structured around top-heavy surveillance and hierarchy.
Maintaining Your Community
It can be tricky to nourish your working community while encouraging productivity and engagement, but solutions like RootLo can help you do so. We specialize in creating dynamic environments for companies and their remote teams, so if you are looking for a platform to communicate, organize, and collaborate on tasks from different locations, RootLo is here to help.
It is important to check in with your remote workforce during peaceful times, but it is especially vital to do so now. As an employer, it is your responsibility to keep yourself updated on the status of your employees. Make sure to host at least one work-related meeting with your team per week, but also consider hosting a weekly general check-in so that everyone can see each other and you can all discuss things that would usually be discussed around the coffee table. Hosting these weekly get-togethers is a way that you can make sure your employees are working sustainably and have the support to work as productively as they can.
Managing a remote workforce can be challenging, especially if you never anticipated needing to do so. During times like these, your working community is the most important thing. To care for this, you’ll need to employ flexibility in your remote work policy as well as your practice and extend that flexibility to your remote workers. Switch gears from time-based work management to task-based work management, steer clear of invasive surveillance software, and instead focus on regular check-ins and communication. If your employees feel plugged in and supported, then they will have the freedom and flexibility to find a work-life balance that is optimal for them — and ultimately, that’s beneficial for you and your company.
Work Globally, Live Locally.