CEOs and Leaders: Here's how to prepare for an extended period of remote work
Most of a manager's effectiveness in managing remote teams is when they engage in the right cadence of activities, and the right conversations at the appropriate time:
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Accept that you have to put in place remote work systems, even if more than half of your employees ultimately revert to office-based work.
Intentionally design for the same interactions that would otherwise happen if people were in the office.
Your people need to feel your presence as a leader as they will have fewer opportunities to see you face to face when they work remotely.
A common fear is that employees may work less when they work remotely. This fear is usually misguided, and the desire to micro-manage should be curbed.
In the current situation where employees need to work from home without an effective home office setup, it is important to have empathy. Provide flexibility to ensure your employees are able to take care of their families alongside the needs of the business.
Video is a critical factor for doing remote work well while maintaining a sense of social connection. It allows you to better "read" people and creates a more cohesive team and experience.
It does not make sense to do a video call with your video off. Encourage people to turn their video on whenever possible in the gallery view.
These meetings are designed to boost energy at the company. They may seem to have no business purpose, but they are essential for creating connection while fulfilling the lack of natural connection.
OKRs (Objectives and key results) are important for driving alignment around the few objectives that matter most. Using objectives helps to shift an employee from a task-oriented to a results-oriented focus.
If Zoom is your conference room, Slack is your open office. Just like an office, you need to think of leveraging Slack for both work and social interaction, where the team can have conversations they'd normally have in passing.
It can be anything from good morning, suggesting events, inspirational or funny stories, or offers for a virtual hangout.
Being remote-first requires that you have a strong system for both shared files and documentation.
It is critical to have an impeccable organization with a remote, distributed team. It creates a higher standard for operating, even if you are all physically in the same room.
To build a strong, healthy culture, create a channel where people can thank, praise, or give recognition to one another. It increases positive communication in organizations, which in turn increases performance.
Recurring check-ins ensure regular communication between managers and their direct reports. Each week, every employee reflects on their role and provides a brief update and share the following:
(Check-ins are NOT a replacement for in-person or video 1-on-1s.)
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