HOW TO SUPPORT REMOTE WORKERS
By this point you certainly don’t need me to tell you that it’s a very strange time. We’re all adjusting to a different way of life and finding new ways to get our work done.
Organisations across the country are learning just how many of those meetings could’ve been emails after all.
I’m not here to guide you through the current climate but rather just offering some tips on how you can help support your remote workers. Hint, it largely involves communicating clearly but allow me to elaborate...
GIVE THEM THE TOOLS FOR THEIR TRADE
Maybe I was just a naïve young student, but I was horrified when I first discovered that computers don’t just arrive suited and booted like they just came out of the university library. You have to buy software and licensing and all sorts.
So listen to your employees if they’re telling you that computers aren’t up to scratch or if the software is letting them down. Chances are it’s a quick fix, but it will require time and investment.
And you need to understand that it’s nothing when weighed against the satisfaction and productivity of staff who are empowered with the right equipment.
KEEP IT CLEAR AND SIMPLE
As a writer, I’m no stranger to vague feedback. This is no time for track change comments that say, ‘Don’t like this’ or ‘rephrase’. If you don’t like it, why? Do you think a sentence needs rephrasing grammatically or to emphasise a different point?
If you’re working remotely take a few extra minutes to clarify your thoughts and feedback. Those few extra minutes could save another round of amends and save everyone time in the long run.
Pepper those few extra minutes across your emails, briefing forms, WhatsApp messages – basically across any form of communication you need. My tried and tested method is read it, read it out loud and read it again.
TRUST THEM (like you should’ve been doing all along)
Not to tar everyone with the same brush here because there are a lot of employers who’ve been encouraging remote and flexible working all along. There are those that still maintain it’s impossible. Right now, we don’t have a choice.
Ultimately, it comes down to trust. So no logging on and sending some lame Slack message to check everyone’s online, no unnecessary chasing or phone calls.
It’s worth remembering that everyone is navigating a whole new way of doing things. Try to let your staff find their flow and adjust to a new routine without them worrying that they’re being monitored – we’ve all got enough to worry about right now.
Let’s keep things clear, simple and calm.