Monday, 10 August 2020 // from Evelyn Kamau

Did you know that 76% of the Global Workforce prefer to continue working from home post Covid-19. Working from home is indeed the new normal.

Currently most of us can relate to working remotely from different locations owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. A recent survey revealed that 76% of the Global Workforce prefer to continue working from home post Covid-19 (Source: globalworkplaceanalytics.com). Apart from escaping a noisy office, there are significant benefits gained from WFH such as an increase in productivity on one hand, and a decrease in absenteeism on the other.

And because the WFH model is the new normal, leaders need to remotely support their teams to ensure business continuity during this unprecedented situation. So let’s have a look at some of the best practices that have been proven to enable a remote team successfully achieve its objective under the leadership of a team manager.

Up-to-date equipment
Your team’s working culture flourishes when everything is under one roof. Ensure that the team members have the amenities needed to get their work done. This includes but not limited to working laptop machines and remote team management software in order to plan projects as well as people, mobile devices or a high-speed internet. As a team manager it is your responsibility to make sure that the team you are working with is promptly supplied with this equipment and timely replacements are done on the faulty ones. 

Regular communication
This goes without saying. It is normal for your team to feel lonely and isolated because they are not in an office environment. It's therefore important to have a regular one on one every so often allowing room for small talk when possible. A good rapport is key in creating a bond between team members and their manager. From time to time find out how they are doing and also how their families are doing to show that you not only care about their work delivery but also their lives outside work.

Video conferencing
Thanks to technology advancement, we are now able to interact and connect better through electronic mediums such as Teams, Zoom, Skype google hangouts etc. It is thus important to find the right collaboration tool that can be used with the whole staff. By helping to shorten the gap between the employer and employee, video conferencing is a powerful tool that fosters the connection and team spirit by enabling real-time, face to face communication. 

Researchers show that half of human communication is nonverbal. As team manager, your role is to ensure effective communication which will establish a connection with your members. Video conferencing helps to notice your team’s reaction to different situations in order to also understand the unspoken.

Set expectations
Conveying expectations early clearly helps in keeping your team members focused in working towards the same goal. Help them in figuring out what they need to prioritize by creating realistic expectations for their work. This sets up both you and the team for success as it helps in precisely stating both the tasks and the reasons behind them as a measure of achievement. Your expectation for your virtual team can be their, working hours, scope of work and the deadlines and deliverables for each task or project.

Watch out for part 2

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