Working remotely can have its challenges for employees – such as staying connected, focused and productive outside the traditional work environment.
But by helping to instil these traits, you can support your team in establishing good habits so they can work well.
- Being a self-starter. Drive is something you probably look for when taking on a new employee – and it’s a trait that will set your team in good stead when they work from home. Being motivated and ready to get things done on their own initiative will help employees get on with the job and avoid distractions, so look to ways you can motivate your team.
If you feel like productivity could suffer when your team works from home, it can be encouraging to know that employees who work remotely can actually be more productive. In this situation, they’re more able to schedule their work to times of day they feel most effective, and they’re not subject to the same interruptions they would be in a busy shared environment.
- Adopting a critical eye. Without their boss, manager or colleagues right next to them, employees will need different ways to get feedback on their work or progress. Speak to them about the best ways to do this and set up avenues for regular feedback and check-ins.
You could also encourage them to use their own critical eye to assess their work, by coming back to tasks with fresh eyes for review where possible. Making sure employees have clear instructions and a plan for any projects from the get-go can also help them to work effectively.
- Becoming tech-savvy. Ensure your employees can make the most of the technology available for them to work from home. There are plenty of options out there for video calling, instant messaging and project management, so see what your organisation can offer or what you can access.
Your team may run into tech issues when working from home, so encourage them to get familiar with the technology and programs they need to use, and distribute guides or fact sheets for them to troubleshoot simple issues where possible.
- Embracing organisation. Setting up their space, schedule and tasks in an organised way will help employees stay productive and motivated when working from home. There could be greater need for them to self-manage their time and priorities, so regular check-ins may need to include helping them to focus on what’s most important.
For work that involves multiple team members, look into project management apps or systems that could help. Ensuring any shared digital documents are well-organised, secure and easily accessible will also help employees work faster, smarter and more effectively.
- Being independent, but staying connected. For employees, working from home can feel totally different to the team environment of a busy workplace where they can bounce ideas off colleagues or even just chat. Helping them to embrace their independence, self-motivation and ability to work autonomously is one part of ensuring your team can work well remotely.
But connection is still essential, so look at what methods are available to help remote employees stay in touch. Can you set up regular phone calls or video meetings? Can you create team chats using instant messaging tools or other platforms? Find ways to help work-from-home employees share wins, address problems, combat boredom or loneliness and collaborate.
Ultimately, working from home can take some adjusting for you and for employees. But by helping to instil these five traits in your team, you can help them stay positive and productive and make the most of working remotely.