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How to manage a remote team during a pandemic

Category: Flexible Working, Flexible, Working from Home, Capita, Business Services, Top Tips, remote working

Flexible Working.

Before COVID-19, you might have had the occasional team member working from home when a plumber was coming to fix a boiler. But now your whole team is working from home. How do you manage that? How do you support your employees? And manage the same level of productivity? We have put together some top tips to help you manage your team when they’re all working from home.

Recognise that working from home is different to working in the office and it will take some time for team members to get used to this. Some people will want to stick to 9-5 hours, some will want to start earlier or work later into the evening. As long as this doesn’t impact their work, or they miss deadlines, this is fine. You may want to check in with each individual and see how they’re planning on working. Be as flexible as you can and trust your team to do what they’re asked.

Set expectations and deadlines. Explain what rules you have for everyone working at home and why you expect these to be managed. Implement a daily catch up at a time that suits everyone so that the whole team is aware of what’s going on and who’s doing what.

Ask everyone to keep their diaries up-to-date and share them, and share yours in return. It’s good to know if someone will be in a virtual meeting for half the day and will explain why they haven’t replied to emails. On this note, have regular one to ones to connect with your team, check in on projects and ask them how they’re doing and if there’s anything you can do to support them.

Use a project management tool if you need it. With multiple projects and team members, you may want to use a tool like Trello to help keep the team aligned on next steps, deadlines and ownership. It’s a good way to ease the number of emails you’re cc’d on and a good, visual way to see where projects stand.

Encourage your team to contact and chat to each other. It can be quite a shock going from a busy office to working and living at home solo, or working and living at home as a parent. Whether it’s Slack, phone or video calls or Microsoft Teams, make sure your team are talking to each other. It’ll feel like they’re still part of a team. Even if some of them have been furloughed, let them join in team chats and catch ups if they want to. It’ll help relieve any feelings of anxiety and isolation.

Communicate overall company and team goals. Personal goals are easy to work towards, but for a remote team, you should also be clear about company-wide goals so your team understand their roles in the company. Be open and honest.

Find ways to collaborate. Set aside some time for everyone to work collaboratively on projects to keep your team feeling inspired. You may have a colleague or team member who’s willing to host a yoga session at lunch time, or a team quiz – encourage these because it all helps to contribute to a feeling of being part of something.

Managing a fully remote team is challenging – especially in these unusual times – but thinking about how you’re communicating and putting the right tools and processes in place, will allow you to create an engaging and productive environment. Above all, keep connecting and use video chat where you can to help everyone feel like they are part of a team that works well and looks after each other. Good luck!

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email info@vercida.com for more information.

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