Hi, I know there’s so much content out there right now about telework, telecommuting, and flexible workplace based on all the changes that we’re currently going through. It’s probably all really good, however, I wanted to give you some perspective because we’ve been running our company 100% this way for the last decade and I have some observations from doing that that I want to share with you. Our jobs have not been disrupted much in terms of the workflow because we’ve been doing it for a long time.
One. You have to replace their presence at the office with different forms of engagement. We have been heavy users of texting, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and other teleconferencing tools such as video conferencing. In fact, one of the things that we’re doing now is we’re re-instituting our daily pep rally meetings where we get ready for the day together. There’s so much changing, we’ve got to have that daily morning conversation. I think it’s really good, in this time, to stay connected with your teams.
This is how you can do that: regular virtual face-to face-in meetings that replace your team being at the office. Our number one thing has always been work is what you do, not where you’re at. We’re practice that daily.
Two. Set really clear expectations for your team members. How often do they respond to email and when? What about returning phone calls and responses to client inquiries? You may want to set some expectations around hours of the day that they need to be available and online. Whether you want to monitor that, or not, is up to you. I trust my team, I call them at any time of the day, they know that we’re ready to go 24/7/365. Adapt what works for your organization.
Three. Get clear on your metrics, expectations, and goals. Your goals may need to be adjusted and it’s a good time to look at them. Since you’re not measuring Johnny or Jane every day because they come into the office, right? You need to have very clear metrics in place for the measurement of all of your employees. Now, it’s easy for the people who do business development work, and a lot of our people do. You can see a sales team member’s metrics and activities clearly. However, you may need to set those expectations and goals for people who are in support roles: communications, administrative, and operational functions. Their roles on the job may have just changed. Help define and set goals and your expectations of them. Be very clear about that.
At the end of the day it’s about engagement in a different way. It’s about setting clear expectations and managing them. That’s my experience after a decade of managing a remote team. I hope you enjoy it like we do.