As we all learn to adjust to living through a public health crisis, I see the question of remote work popping up more and more. How do you make sure people are still doing their jobs? How much monitoring is too much? And how do I keep morale up when we’re all distracted by the coronavirus?
A lot of people treat these as new problems, but at their core, these are all hiring issues. Not sure how to make sure your employees are actually working? Well, if you hired people who are good at what they do and have proven themselves to be trustworthy, then this isn’t a major concern. I’m a firm believer in hiring the right people then getting out of their way, and I don’t see that working from home has changed much in that regard.
But how can you be sure that they’re actually working? I like to live by the adage: Trust, but verify. You should give your team the space to do their usual work, but as a leader, you also need to do your usual work of checking up on projects. However often you were checking work at the brick and mortar office is exactly how often you should check work done remotely. No more, no less.
I know that there’s a lot of concern that people will get distracted by daily life while working from home. And honestly, maybe that will happen. But we all know that office chit-chat happens too, and a large portion of the work we do in offices isn’t essential to the important stuff. So maybe your employees might load the dishwasher or chat with a family member for a few minutes while “on the clock.”
Small interruptions won’t derail your work, but micromanaging can drain your team of morale very quickly. My advice? Keep to business as usual, let your team enjoy working from home, and you’ll find that their spirits and productivity are staying up even as we all navigate life with COVID-19.