Working from home, a new paradigm

Updated: Jun 23, 2020

Written by Brenda Hobin

Working from home is not a new phenomenon. What is new is the mass exodus of employees having to work from home as a result of the recent global pandemic. Distancing oneself from one another is the temporal cure. It facilitates the slowing down of the deadly virus spread while researchers and scientists find a vaccine, hopefully fast and furiously.

Source: Innovative Workplace Institute

Since working from home is not a new phenomenon, we can easily learn from the early adopters, the challenges that comes with the benefits of working from home or remotely. This blog will address two aspects of working from home. The first is managing a remote team and secondly managing self when working remotely. The second part will be divided into seven series: Emotional wellbeing, cognitive wellbeing, social wellbeing, physical wellbeing, physical comfort, physical nourishment and environmental wellbeing.

Let’s start with managing others

1. Trust

Trust is of the most critical factors when managing a remote team. Trust creates a stronger bond between you and your team members. The bond means they will be empathic towards your vision and they are more willing to work with you towards the organisational or department vision.

2. Nine to five

Daily check-in and check-out. Work from home is not different from working in an office. Schedule a morning check-in at an agreed time and platform; and bid one another goodbye at the end of the end. Do not send messages to the platform after office hours. If you do have to send anyone a message, if it is not urgent, wait till the next day or send them an email, if your culture permits, so they can read the message when they get to the home office the next working day. The daily check-in and check-out are to help your team maintain a work-life balance.

3. Communicate

Over communicate. Beside scheduling regular meetings, you have to check-in with them regularly, at least a couple of times a day individually. This will allow you to know their needs and also for them to clarify or seek further guidance on matters they need help with.

4. Managing expectations

Many a times employees are not told what they are expected to do daily, this is especially evident in more junior team members due to lack of working experience. As manager, you must state the tasks clearly to avoid any misunderstanding.

5. Results driven

Focus on KPIs, not activities. You have given your team clear tasks and you have to tell them what is their KPIs. This way, they understand their tasks should result in certain desired results. If they are unsure, they can also clarify with you during your scheduled meetings or during the day when you check-in with them.

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