More than half of all remote workers say that they don’t want to return to the office after COVID-19. Many enjoy the lack of commute, the improved comfort of a home work-space, or even just enjoy the new normal. It’s growing more and more likely that the new remote workforce will be permanently increased. That said, more and more people are starting to question exactly how to make this new normal work for them.
For most remote teams, the most important keys to success are: Trust, connection, and standards.
Trust – Many leaders have taken to highly invasive methods of worker-monitoring – they don’t trust their workers to spend every spare minute at their desk. But workers understand that if they don’t do their job, they get in trouble – trust your workers to keep up as they always have. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t make sure they have support for this shift, or to stop your standard check-ins. But over-investing in monitoring methods or over-reaching into their home-workspace could end up being more detrimental than helpful.
Connection – Not all workers have been as invigorated by the new remote work-style. Many people find a sense of community and connection in the workplace. Even those that don’t prioritize this may find themselves missing out on the water-cooler talk. As a leader, you should take the time to reach out to your employees. Utilize Skype or Slack and work a short conversation into your day – show that you recognize their work, and encourage them to do the same with their co-workers. These small encouragements add up, especially in a situation where you aren’t getting small “in passing” comments to each other.
Performance Standards – Ensuring that you have a high-performance team requires a high-performance standard. This is somewhat self-explanatory, but it’s important to keep in mind. Many teams will struggle as they sit back on laurels or take their success for granted. Especially now that many are adjusting to a new workflow and environment, you’ll need to take the time to see what needs to change – hold your team to a high standard, yes, but also put the work towards helping each other reach that standard.
These three keys will help your team achieve more and more, even without the benefit of an in-person sync up and camaraderie . Just because we are distanced in real life is no reason to feel distanced in practice. The modern world has given us millions of ways to stay connected and productive – let us use them.