How to build trust with employees (especially when you can’t see them)
Different industries may face different challenges when they have to manage staff remotely. However, they all share one element that is crucial: trust.
A lack of trust can undo a team. Managers may doubt that their reports are actually working. This can lead to the expectation that employees are always available, creating stress and disrupting employees' work-life balance. The secret in learning to trust remote employees is ensuring good communication.
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Most companies embracing remote work also have dedicated headquarters. But remote-ish teams have even more communication and collaboration challenges than fully remote teams....
The single biggest mistake companies can make is to opt to be remote-friendly instead of remote-first. Companies often accept the idea that remote is the future of work without creating an inclusive culture to ensure it works for everyone.
Hybrid companies function best when the entire company is optimized for remote work. Successful hybrid teams set up processes to help their remote workers thrive alongside their office teammates.
Leadership must acknowledge the various challenges remote workers face and create solutions. Create a remote work policy that keeps remote workers and contractors from feeling like second class team members. Remote workers should feel fully connected and not missing a thing.
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.
Design your hiring process with remote candidates in mind. Look for 3 main things:
Remote workers won’t have the opportunity to be involved in spontaneous conversations or team lunches, but there are other things you can do to help them settle:
Remote workers need a dedicated, quiet space to do their work, so it’s important to set some guidelines:
They can still work from a coffee shop every once in a while, but they need a good default setup.