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The World’s Largest Remote Working Experiment

As a manager you will be supporting many employees who are unaccustomed to working remotely but the novel coronavirus has meant that offices are going into lockdown and individuals are self-isolating.  It’s unprecedented, and the World’s Largest Remote Working Experiment.

Top Five Tips

1) Treat everyone as an individual:  Coaching at a distance requires intentional individualisation.  Make sure you ask the individual the conditions under which they perform best, their concerns about their workflow and their emotional response to the situation.  This is especially important if people are concerned about loved ones.

2) Be clear about expectations:  Make expectations crystal clear.  What work should the individual be doing.  What is the quality standard expected and when is the deadline.  Senior leaders will need to provide high-level expectations about what should be done to keep customers engaged and maintain corporate standards.  The more detail the better.

3) Equip and Inform: make sure that the individual has the equipment to the job they need to do and have access to all the information they need.  There are plenty of tools available to collaborate on line e.g. MS Office, Zoom and Skype Business just to name a few.

4) Communicate productively: Make sure you are purposeful about your communication, include three elements to every call or video-conference: relationship, resources and information.  Make time for socialising, prepare the information that will be required and ensure resources are accessible.

5) Support your reporting managers: remote working over an extended period of time will interrupt workflow and reporting managers may begin to feel negatively if they don’t trust their workers.  Give support both practical and emotional.

Finally, this will be difficult for everyone, but see the changes in workflow as a positive.  Focus on what CAN be done, rather than what is being prevented.  And the enforced change in pace creates a unique opportunity for all that personal development you’ve been meaning to do – so take the opportunity to learn too!