Over the past few years, there has be a huge influx in remote work. The longer the pandemic continues the more apparent it’s become that this trend is here to stay. Managing remote workers brings to the forefront new challenges that often require adapting new skill sets for success.

It may seem difficult in this climate, already fraught with so many outside stressors, to remain productive and keep employees feeling engaged and part of the team. Even more importantly, we must remember that employees are also struggling with their own challenges in adapting to this new landscape. Below are some helpful tips to navigate this new remote environment.

Keep the Communication Flowing 

Although no longer able to get up from your desk and talk to coworkers, or ask a quick question over a partitioner, you can still build in opportunities to stay connected. This may include keeping your employees in the loop on upcoming projects and providing resources. Drill down on what communication style is right for your team (emails, phone call, video chats, intranet shared files, exc.). Remember this is a balancing act between gapping silences and overbearing micromanagement. If you wouldn’t be standing behind an employee watching them work in the office, it doesn’t translate to do so once they are working remote. You may need to build into your management style weekly or monthly check-ins to ensure employees are productive and working effectively. Most importantly recognize this may vary per employee and adjust your style when necessary.

Staying Connected as a Team

Employees are reporting increased feelings of isolation across all industries. Although some people work well in a remote environment, it may be an additional stressor for others. Encourage feedback and try to continue in a way that maintains an “open-door policy” as often as possible. Don’t forgo employee celebrations and opportunities for outside connections. If you celebrated birthdays and anniversaries in the office, make sure the same recognition is felt while working remote. One of the largest complaints from remote workers that that they do not feel seen by leadership.

Set Expectations and Know the Steps to Course Correct

Every employee in your organization should know what’s expected of them and have set realistic goals regardless if they are working in the office or remote. When there is a shift in the worksite, re-establishing these expectations may be necessary. Help them see the bigger picture with companywide updates and brand refreshers. Remote work doesn’t work for everyone. Some people need structure to stay focused and accountable.