It’s been almost 2 months since the team of DEGOM Marketing moved to remote working and prioritized remote management practices. Whilst it has been quite nice at times not having the commute, or setting up shop in the garden on a sunny day, the reality is that this has been a tough adjustment for everybody in the business.
Many businesses are finding new ways to adapt to the changing economy and these tips have helped wonders in the overall transition and remote management tasks...
One thing that became very apparent was how important those quick chats over the desk or in the kitchen are to the day-to-day workflow. That natural interaction is not easily replicated virtually, and no-one wants more emails!
Making a conscious effort to increase the frequency of team catch-ups – or, in our case, just dialing into the ones that were already happening – has been the most effective way we have found to stay in the loop. As sighted human beings we communicate so much physically so I think it really helps to use video calls as much as possible, not talking to a blank screen.
Being More Flexible
When we went into lockdown, we were keen to impress upon the team that “all that’s changed is the location – everything is as we were in the office”. Had it been just a week or two of working from home that probably would have been the right message. But as the situation progressed and more started to change around us, the more we have had to adapt. I am sure you are in the same predicament.
Things aren’t as if we were in the office: we have staff on furlough, we are having to overhaul our short-term strategies and everyone is having to pick up more new business.
Replacing our structured, management team meetings with more regular weekly meetings that have a more flowing agenda has helped keep the focus on the most immediate priorities. Similarly, some remote management projects have had to be deprioritized – not ideal, of course, but as a manager, it’s important to acknowledge that and make those decisions to reprioritize consciously.
Being Respectful of People’s Time
Not everyone is able to keep normal office hours; childcare, home-schooling, or trying to maintain a healthy work-life balance. This has meant that everyone is working slightly different hours and is overly stressed. Again, it has been important to acknowledge that and to be respectful of individual situations.
Things like adjusting meeting times, booking time in to catch up in advance, or just not asking to do long calls at 5:30 pm are just a couple of examples of the little adjustments that we have made as managers to adapt to the new norm.
We have increased the frequency of our management meetings and so should you. We need to be communicating honestly and transparently about furlough, client status, business projections, etc. no matter how tough it may be.
It can be tough at times as we don’t always have all the answers, and when we reflect back in months to come we know there will be things we would have done differently. For us, it’s about trying to put yourself in the position of others, being conscious of their concerns, and endeavoring to communicate honestly and transparently.
Being Positive and Giving Feedback
Lastly, It’s very easy to get wrapped up in your own day but it’s so important to acknowledge the hard work and long hours the team is doing in such challenging circumstances. We need to support each other and I think even something small like receiving Kudos from a colleague makes a big difference!
We are couple of months in and it looks like we are now on the road back to normality. As much as we are looking forward to getting back into the office with the team I think some of these little changes in behavior are still very applicable and we will be making a conscious effort to adopt them as the norm. We hope you do the same!