Depending on where you are in the world, things might be getting back to some kind of normal. New normal, post-COVID normal, or any of the other buzzwords we are hearing right now might apply to you. But for other companies, things are far from getting back to any semblance of normality in terms of your remote team returning to a physical office or workplace.
This might be because quarantine,
lockdown, circuit breaker restrictions are still in place. Or, even if some
workers are returning, there are still physical distancing measures that need
to be followed. And this might mean that many organisations are keeping some
staff at home for the foreseeable future. Or rotating them into the office –
and then back to remote work.
The bottom line is, having a remote team is still relevant for a lot of companies and this is not suddenly going to stop.
There are also companies who,
despite being ‘allowed’ to return to work, are choosing remote work locations
over office-based ones. Of course, the health and well-being implications are
driving factors for such decisions, but so too are other things such as cost
benefits of having employees working remotely.
But, where does this leave your remote team? Are they more productive or less productive? Do you even know?
While it might have been ok to let
some things slide while everyone was adapting to working remotely, it’s now
becoming the normal way to do things. So how are you and your team measuring
If you can’t physically see your
team and interact with them in the same way, how do you know they are doing
what they are meant to be?
How can you motivate them and keep
on top of issues and challenges they might be facing?
Leaders and organisations are
looking for ways to work smarter, while they can’t rely on the usual ways of
‘checking in’ with the team or overseeing what they’re doing when they’re in
the physical workplace. Of course, there are plenty of messaging and
collaboration tools, but these don’t really dig deep enough when you need to
consider long-term remote work solutions, especially when there’s the
compliance element to consider.
You are probably having to micro-manage
and perform task allocation activities, more than you are used to. And this is
preventing you from performing your leadership duties.
You still have your ‘day job’ to do
as a leader, but you are spending all your time trying to iron out issues
amongst the team, such as “I thought Joe was doing that, so I didn’t
start it” or “how are we supposed to know where they got up to
in this process without constantly emailing and calling them?”
Accountability is a competency that
we perhaps take for granted, so making sure that everyone is aware of what they
need to be doing (and crucially not doing) is paramount.
At Boombirds we know that any organisation
can benefit from having a solid process management system in place. It just
makes sense. It avoids ad hoc and duplicate effort of the repetitive tasks when
everyone knows who is responsible for what, and how they must carry it out.
It really can be that simple.
Combining the key success factors of
accountability, enabling teams to be self-organised, and finding ways to motivate
them will be where we see forward-thinking organisations really thrive in the
future. They will be the organisations who will stand the test of time.
As the leader it also frees you up
from those time-consuming issues to be able to focus on business building
activities that are increasingly vital in the uncertain times we are facing.