Leading Effectively Remotely

working from home company culture

Are you one of the many teams facing the new realities of a predominantly Work From Home (WFH) office structure?

The pandemic brought many changes with it, which has posed no shortage of unique challenges to organizational leaders and team managers all across North America. One of the most profound “shocks” to the typical day-to-day for many has been the shift to working from home. Whether your office already had this option available on a part-time basis, or you’ve found yourself suddenly in the deep end, there’s no denying that this new world of Zoom meetings, virtual reviews, and remote onboarding has been difficult to navigate, especially from a managerial perspective.

If you find yourself facing the challenge of how to lead effectively remotely, Pivot HR is here to help. Below, we’ll cover a few ways you can make the transition from office to home a little smoother for everyone involved. Read on to learn more!

Establish Some Ground Rules

Strong channels of communication are vital to any team, and the importance of this only increases with a lack of physical presence. Though the way you interact, especially where personalization is concerned, will understandably look and feel different, you must establish clear ground rules that centre around:

  • Expectations for communication (i.e. are you sitting up daily touchpoints?)
  • Methods of keeping in touch (Slack, Zoom, email, etc.)
  • Availability hours
  • What to do if they cannot reach their main point of contact.

While there will still be some hiccups here and there, especially as everyone adjusts, having clear guidelines helps to reduce confusion and provides much-needed structure to the day. While your team will likely enjoy the flexibility of working from home to a certain degree, setting ground rules makes sure everyone is on the same page.

Vary Your Methods of Communication

In addition to establishing the clear groundwork for communication, you’ll also want to ensure you have a variety of different mediums in place to maintain close contact depending on the situation at hand. For example, while you may be able to clear up a quick question or two over instant messaging, it’s hardly ideal to conduct a review this way. Mixing video, phone, and text communication will help everyone feel better connected, while still ensuring the correct channels are used accordingly.

Check-In Often

Note: when we say check-in, we don’t mean virtually hover. Micromanaging rarely gets the results you desire, but making sure your team members know that you are there to offer support and guidance during this difficult time goes a long way towards maintaining the trust and helping to offset the changes everyone is facing. Be sure to make a diligent effort to check in with your team regularly, and let them know that your (virtual) door is always open for feedback and help!

Encourage Socialization

Finally, encourage your team members to talk with one another and try to facilitate activities that allow for some semblance of normalcy and routine interaction to keep morale up. Consider an office “cocktail hour” at the end of the week, morning stand-ups, and let casual conversations happen as needed. Sometimes, chatting about what’s new on Netflix, weekend activities, and new hobbies is the perfect way to break people out of their funk and remind them that we really are all in this together!

Looking for HR Assistance? We Can Help!

If your company needs some help navigating the ins and out of remote onboarding, team management and conflict, terminations, or even just putting best HR practices in place, Pivot HR is here to help. Our team is proud to partner with clients from all over Canada from our office here in Vancouver to make sure you have the help you need when it matters most. Contact us today to learn more!

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