How your business can manage remote working effectively

When the Covid-19 crisis hit the UK this year, a large portion of office-based businesses were forced to move to a remote working system, allowing their teams to continue to do their jobs from home, avoiding unnecessary contact within an office environment.

With this change comes new challenges for businesses, managers and team leaders with regards to managing their teams, keeping things moving, and ensuring people remain focused and motivated.

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With the latest government advice suggesting those who can work from home should continue to do so, remote working doesn’t appear to be going away in the short term at least. With this in mind, here are some useful tips for businesses to manage their remote workforce.

Keep in touch, using the correct methods of communication

With entire businesses now working remotely, it’s natural that more time will be spent in (virtual) meetings than ever before. Meetings have long been said to be a drain on business time and resources, so it’s more important than ever to make them efficient.

CIPHR.com created a meetings calculator which shows the true cost of employees spending time in meetings. A typical office worker on £40,000 per year spending an hour a day in meetings is costing upwards of £400 per month for the business, so it’s clear to see why this should be closely monitored.

A key way to keep communication efficient and to the point is by using the right methods at the right times.

  • Contact your team by email for short and to-the-point messages, such as providing quick updates on projects, or sharing files.
  • Consider using instant communication tools such as Slack to have instant contact with both the team, in group chats, and individuals, for smaller matters.
  • Save video calls for more important things, such as daily / weekly meetings to discuss key projects and tasks for the day or week. Avoid video calling for quick updates and sharing basic information with the team.
  • Use a standard telephone call if you need to discuss anything private or sensitive with a member of your team, avoiding the possibility of being overheard on a video call.

Trust your team to work from home

One of the biggest barriers to implementing work from home processes for businesses is having the trust in their team to actually do the work, and not slack off. A counter argument to this is you probably shouldn’t be employing someone if you don’t trust them to do this anyway.

With teams working from home during the Covid-19 crisis, try to avoid checking up on them too much, or asking them to use time tracking software to monitor their daily activity and time - it can and often does lead to trust issues, which can negatively impact employee engagement and satisfaction at work.

Make yourself more available than ever

A golden rule of management is to make yourself available for your team, as much as possible. With your entire team working remotely, this is more important than ever.

It’s likely that team member will need additional support compared with working within the office, so try to setup your day so that you have regular times you can be ready to jump on a call with a team member is needed.

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Les Roberts - Energy Expert at UKPower

Les Roberts - Energy Expert at UKPower

If you’ve got an issue with your energy supplier, our consumer champion Les is on hand to help. A decade in consumer affairs means Les understands how confusing energy tariffs can be, so he'll cut through the jargon to help make sure you get the best deal.