Working remotely is a problem not just for employees but for supervisors. Not having the option to check on them in person can be quite difficult for both parties. For supervisors, it is difficult to determine how good an employee is feeling. Besides, it is a bit challenging to control their work when you cannot offer face-to-face supervision. Not to mention all the distractions at home.
If you feel like your team’s overall productivity has been suffering too much because of remote work and the results reflect these concerns, take some action and rethink your remote supervision strategy.
Have daily check-ins
Daily check-ins should give you a better understanding of what an employee is going through. Even if it is a quick exchange of words, it can go a long way for planning the next strategy or understanding how to solve a problem a team member might have.
Despite being out of a face-to-face distance, you should still not have problems communicating with the employees. For example, you could use platforms like Slack to instantly send messages or make calls.
For video calls, you have tools like Discord or Zoom. Or, if your team works using MacBooks, software like google duo for mac could work as well.
Just like regular check-ins, you, as a supervisor, should get in the habit of communicating with your team and discussing relevant topics. The lack of communication can be a significant challenge in a regular work environment and lead to various errors.
The problem becomes even more apparent when a team has to work remotely rather than sitting in the same office.
Also, if you plan to work on a new project or focus on achieving new goals, proper communication is paramount.
Use available technology
Besides communication tools, you could also ask your employees to use time-tracking software and other work-related tools that let both you and them keep tabs on what has happened throughout the day.
For example, there are instances when you cannot see whether someone started or finished their work on time. But having time-tracking apps or even sharing the work computer screen helps supervisors get a better idea of what employees are up to most, if not all the time.
It is also not just the work itself. Some workers may lose track of time and forget to take their lunch break. As a supervisor, you need to keep tabs on these things as well and inform employees when they should get a break from work. Otherwise, it will lead to further productivity issues.
Know different communication preferences
Another thing to note about communication remotely is that different people have different preferences. Just because you like to talk on a phone, it does not mean that the same thing applies to a person on the other side.
It may not seem like that big of a deal, but if your employee prefers to text rather than call or video chat, respect their wishes and do not put them in a position that will add additional anxiety to already having to work from home.
Speak with everyone individually and make a list of who prefers calls and who would like to communicate via email or texting. Show your team that you care about them and are willing to adjust to their needs as well.
Encourage socializing between the team
Living in a pandemic means few opportunities to meet and have some fun together. And lack of socializing between the employees can really dampen the productivity and morale.
However, some ways to boost the team spirit still exist even if you have to do them remotely.
You could organize watch parties where you gather and watch a movie or a TV show. Playing video games is also a popular pastime. Even if someone is not into video games, they might discover how fun it is when you play with other people rather than alone.
Sure, to take part in such activities, one needs to dedicate free time after work. However, encouraging socializing between employees is a good way to make sure that they are on the same page and can have a more fulfilled life during the pandemic even if they are stuck at home.
Managing a team of individuals calls for flexibility. Some will live alone, while others will have a family. Keep unique circumstances in mind while supervising. It will not be perfect, but things have not been perfect for a long time after the Covid-19 disrupted our lives.
Reward and show appreciation
Rewarding employees with an extra day off if possible or offering them other little perks will go a long way in boosting the overall work productivity. Keep in mind that showing appreciation and other nice gestures could be just the thing to motivate an employee and encourage them to do their best.