Some people are likely to have worked from home at one point or another in recent years. Businesses slowly started to adapt to a more flexible working approach to meet an increasing demand. But, throw in a global health crisis and suddenly you have not just one person working from home, but a whole team to manage remotely.
Operating this way for an unforeseeable number of weeks throws up challenges around communication, productivity, and lack of control and supervision. To help you adapt to this new way of working, we’ve put together some top tips on how to engage a workforce that is mostly remote or working from home.
Set tasks with clear deadlines – and make sure everyone sticks to them
Let’s make one thing clear quickly, this is not about micromanagement – no one needs their supervisor asking them every hour what they are up to. This is about ensuring expectations are set and high standards are maintained.
Working in a team is a collaborative effort, and each person is responsible for contributing to a mutual goal. Ensure each team member understands what the expected outcome is and communicate deadlines in writing as a record. This will encourage a remote workforce to remain accountable and motivated.
Organise tasks with digital management tools
Need to keep track of deadlines, prioritise and assign tasks? There’s a plethora of online task management tools available that can be accessed by the entire team via the internet. Some handy ones to get you started include Monday, Trello or Asana.
Think of them as a virtual to-do list, where everyone can contribute and see who is doing what, when it’s due, and what’s coming up. As a remote operating business, here at Addition Accounting we utilise online management tools ourselves to make sure we keep the engine running smoothly.
Engage and involve through modern technology
Socialising is a large aspect of a workforce, whether that be eating lunch with your team or drinks after work with colleagues. Video conferences are now the next best thing and it has become an invaluable tool to improve engagement and concentration. Face-to-face time is important and encourages relationship building through body language and eye contact. Of course, it also gives you a reason to wash your face in the morning and even put on a nice top (even if you’re still wearing joggers).
Video calls won’t always be the right medium for the task at hand – oftentimes an instant message or email would suffice, while on the other hand some employees may feel more comfortable working via voice calls. Try scheduling one or two video calls for the team a week, for example at the start and end, and use this time to go through tasks ahead or an end of week summary. The beauty of modern technology is that we can use it how we see fit, so find what works for you and your team.
When it comes to remote working, the best solution to engage your team or employees is transparency and an open-minded manner. Hold them accountable for their tasks no matter when or where they complete them, as long as it’s within the agreed timeframe. In these unprecedented times, it’s important we’re mindful to be empathic, stay agile, and remain flexible as everyone learns to navigate this new way of working.
Whether you’re a contractor who is used to working remotely, or working from home for the foreseeable future, we can help you with your accounting needs. Speak to one of our expert consultants by giving us a call on 020 8068 1688, sending us an email, or requesting a callback at a time that is convenient for you.