LEADERSHIP TIPS FOR WORKING FROM HOME!
From Carol Siler
COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for the workforce. While some people may be ‘work-from-home’ pro’s, many of us are foreign to this new work environment. After a week of working from home, I thought it was necessary to keep myself centered and focused by developing some strategies to make this time productive for myself and my office. Sonia and I have compiled some tips for leaders to help their workforce transition to working remotely and use this time constructively.
- Create a dedicated work space – Assign a room or space in your home as office space. Ensure you have all the tools needed to do your job from this dedicated work space. Even something as simple as a folding table and chair….so there is no need to get fancy. Ha.
- Stick to a schedule for work/life balance – Implement your working hours and when you’re done turn your computer off and go home or go to your living room. 🙂
- Share goals – Leaders explain to their team what they are working on what the end goal is. This allows everyone to see exactly how they are contributing to the team.
- Fewer emails and more one-on-one communication – Often, hearing someone communicate a thought is more effective than reading it in an email. Human connection is important for productivity. There are so many options for video conferencing, but even a good old phone call works just fine.
- Connect daily – Proactively reach out to every member of your team daily. Establish a strategy to your communication. Have components of your work day/work week that remain the same for consistency. For example, end of day check in’s, Monday 9:00am staff video conference to set weekly goals, Friday 4:00pm wrap up one-on-one meetings, etc.
- Encourage video conferencing – Use video rather than audio! This allows you to observe non-verbal communication, and it encourages people to actively participate from a quiet location as opposed to dialing in while driving in the car or doing other activities. In addition, during this time of isolation it’s important to take the time for self-care, therefore this encourages you to get get dressed instead of working out of your pj’s.
- Respond quickly – Work urgency goes on even though you’re working from home. Therefore, if you receive an email with a question, and are deep into another task, a simple response letting them know you will look into the question that afternoon shows you are engaged.
- Show team spirit – Make sure you share your teams successes. Call out their wins virtually so they can feel appreciated and valued.
- Lets get social – Structure ways for employees to interact socially. Find the time to discuss non-work topics; i.e. spend the first few minutes of weekly meeting catching up with each other. Host a virtual office party to reduce feelings of isolation and promote a sense of belonging.
As a leader, encourage your team members to speak up on any of this, as these changes are new to many of us. Although times are different, if we all work together we will get the job done effectively and successfully!
Carol Siler, Executive Director, Women Leading Kentucky
References for this material:
~ Barbara Z. Larson, Susan R. Vroman, Erin E. Makarius, “A Guide to Managing Your (Newly) Remote Workers”, Harvard Business Review, March 28, 2020, www.hbr.org
~Brian de Haaff, “Yes, You Can Lead a Team and Work Remotely – – Here’s How”, Inc., June 27, 2019, www.inc.com