Remote Working is in Demand: How to manage your remote and hybrid working teams effectively?
Here is our take on legal leadership in the COVID era
We will dive into tips and tricks to help you become proficient at working with a remote or hybrid legal team – whether it is your first time to manage a remote team or you have been doing it for years.
It is common for even the most tenured employees to experience social isolation and distractions when they work remotely and begin to gravitate towards silos of work. Managers can take several steps to reduce this issue with both new and seasoned employees, including:
Keep in touch with your team members frequently.
Working remotely with a communication strategy that includes regular conversations with team members may provide many benefits, including an opportunity to identify problems early. Employees should always have a set time when they can ask questions; a way for employees to stay connected to you and the organization; a way to provide company updates in a more personal manner than email; and a way for you to provide feedback on their performance to your employees.
- It’s important to use technology.
Despite experiencing “Zoom fatigue” in 2020 and 2021, videoconferencing remains an effective tool to build and maintain relationships when in-person meetings aren’t feasible. Video conferences provide participants with visual cues that they can’t otherwise receive over the phone, which can reduce the sense of isolation and make sensitive conversations feel more personal.
- Manage remote working expectations by establishing guidelines.
Remote working is viewed as flexible by many employees, but managers may not view it that way. Make sure your team members know when you expect them to be at their computers and able to answer their phones and respond to emails. It is helpful to share that information as well if you don’t want your employees to feel obligated to check and respond to emails during the evenings and weekends. For videoconferences, whether internal or external, make sure to include a dress code in your guidelines if you expect your employees to adhere to one.
Employees should be able to work comfortably and efficiently from home with the appropriate resources.
While many employees can work remotely with just a laptop and a Wi-Fi connection, these two items alone do not necessarily translate into a productive and ergonomic workspace. Besides sending laptops or providing desktop support to your employees, consider providing them with an external monitor (or two); a height-adjustable desk; an ergonomic headset, keyboard, mouse, and chair with lumbar support; a high-speed printer/scanner; and proper desk lighting. You may find that your employees are more productive if they have a comfortable working environment and the tools necessary to work efficiently.
Social sharing should be encouraged.
Set up a private Instagram account. This account is for your team members to engage socially while working remotely. This is to encourage them to build and maintain relationships. The result will be that your team members will be able to interact socially within a closed group. This may help them feel more connected. I would suggest setting up a Microsoft Teams group that is solely dedicated to social sharing. (If your company’s network blocks Instagram).
Think carefully about layoffs and make employee retention a top priority.
Managers of remote teams may want to go the extra mile to ensure that key employees remain with the company due to the additional challenges involved with managing remote employees.
It is important to handle layoffs and downsizing carefully in order to avoid losing employees who may have to be replaced later. Management of remote employees can be time-consuming and costly. Ultimately, eliminating temporary positions may not be cost-effective for businesses.
After you have hired the perfect employee, your focus will shift to integrating that employee into your organization and team. Onboarding new employees successfully depend on ensuring that they feel welcome at the company. And that may require some creativity if the employee doesn’t live in the same city.
For those of you working remotely, I think this is vital reading on Best Practices for Working Remotely.
For many people who wish to cultivate a better work-life balance remote work is the best option. Remote working is also good for those who want to control their schedules.
The majority of employees do not feel compelled to return to work. A gradual transition will be enacted over time. Immediately implementing it will not be a requirement for employers. You can also look into the Field Engineer platform if you’re looking for remote/freelance work.