Before the outbreak of the corona pandemic, working from home was the exception rather than the rule. In the meantime, that has changed. To ensure that the quality of work, motivation, and health of employees in your own four walls does not suffer, good virtual leadership of the decentralized teams is essential.
From lockdown to Always on: Virtual Leadership of Decentralized Teams
Originally intended as a temporary solution for lockdown times, many employees have long wanted the home office to be a permanent solution. According to an online survey, 80 percent of home workers are satisfied with the workplace in their own four walls. Many would like to continue working from home even after Corona.
Challenges for Managers
This presents managers in particular with new challenges. Because at the moment, from many home office workers, there is still room for improvement. For example, in social and professional exchange, support from managers, and solidarity in the team. That, in turn, was shown by a study by the University of Konstanz. According to this, a quarter of the “homeworkers” would like more structure, a fifth more address.
The Following Tips for Virtual Leadership will help:
Clear rules are required for collaboration in the home office to work. This is the only way to avoid misunderstandings and compare expectations. Especially since working from home is a new territory for the majority of employees and managers. It is all the more important to define core working hours and availability to regulate responsibilities and communication channels.
Keep in Touch
Out of sight, but not out of mind: In the home office, in particular, employees need reliable structures and routines. Because a lot is exchanged between the door and hinge in the office, the flow of information in the home office must be actively initiated. Managers should, therefore, plan regular online team meetings or video conferences to discuss the situation and speak to each employee personally at least once a week. This will be a great help in managing virtual leadership.
Strengthen the Feeling of We
The common coffee in the staff kitchen, the chat in the staff canteen, the joint trip home by train – all of this is eliminated in the home office. Employees working from home can, therefore, feel lonely and miss their team. It is all the more important that managers continue to conjure up team spirit, for example, through a regular virtual morning coffee, where employees can talk about current projects as well as their own well-being. For example: The employees can use smartsheet, now you might be wondering, what is smartsheet, smartsheet is a software that provides a full view of task across the entire project.
Develop a Culture of Trust
Control is good, and trust is better. What is true in the office is no different in the home office. Instead of requiring employees to record the hours worked, managers should let the reins relax a little. Because what counts at the end of the day is the result – and not how much time the employee has invested in it. Especially since, according to current studies, productivity in the home office does not decrease. On the contrary, under the right conditions, virtual teams sometimes even work together more effectively than those at the same location.
Keeping an Eye on the Individual
However, more freedom does not mean that managers should completely stay out of their employees’ everyday work. Because regular feedback is an important motivating factor for employees in the home office, managers should always keep an eye on the individual employees’ personal concerns and, if necessary, make individual arrangements on working hours and submission deadlines.
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