Working from home: How to manage your team

How as a manager, can you keep your people engaged, connected and productive while working from home? Here are some tips:

1. Foster belonging and connection

Think of ways to continue to foster a sense of belonging and connection by using tools such as email, phone and video conferencing – things that remind people they are still part of a team.

Schedule in both formal and informal ways of connecting – such as daily conference calls to start your day or an end of the day round-up to reflect on the highlights. Build in ways people can chat informally – telling jokes, doing the daily quiz or sharing a virtual lunch.

2. Provide practical support

Think about the personalities in your team. If someone is detail oriented, then send them an email set up with sub-headings and related bullet points, as opposed an essay type request.

Likewise, if someone is more big picture focused start with a conversation where you can verbally brief them and answer questions, then follow up with the written request. Or it might also be suggesting new ways of interacting with clients or helping to readjust deadlines and expectations.

3. Focus on what you can achieve

‘Collective efficacy’ is the belief that together you can overcome the challenges you are faced with. People handle stress better if they feel they have support around them and the resources to overcome the challenges.

You can promote a sense of collective efficacy by discussing what you can achieve, goal setting as a team, keeping people updated with progress, and providing practical and emotional support. It’s not simply saying ‘hey team, we’ve got this’, it’s acknowledging the challenges, acknowledging the struggle, and reinforcing that you are all in this together.

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