Home office work and the challenge of managing from a distance

The COVID-19 pandemic brought many challenges for companies and workers, but it also brought opportunities and new solutions for home office work.

in 04/14/2021

With the COVID-19 pandemic, many offices and companies started to adopt the home office. For many it was a dream come true, but for others it was a serious problem, especially for managers or business owners. After all, how to control the team's work from a distance?

Here are some valuable tips for you.

Control the project and not the people

It's been said that collaborators need to be free as birds and not be controlled. We agree with that, but it takes control, and it's not necessarily about the people, but about the project and people's demands. Without good project management and control, things can go wrong! Crises in the company will happen, because the customer will charge, the managers will charge and consequently the employees will receive the charge for this charge, after all, it is a distribution of responsibility at all levels.

Good management starts with organizing little things. There are many methodologies that help organize team work, such as Scrum, for example.

  1. Start by listing all demands in a big list
  2. Group this list into three levels: phases, steps and tasks
  3. Prioritize the phases
  4. Prioritize the steps of the highest priority phase
  5. Prioritize the highest priority step tasks
  6. Estimate the execution of tasks with the team
  7. Assign tasks to the team
  8. Track the progress of tasks, steps and phases

Covers results and not scoring

There is a well-known song that says "...our freedom is what binds us". This excerpt is very real and can be applied within the company. Let the employee be free with flexible hours and since the estimate of the activities delegated to him/her has a deadline, it covers the delivery with quality. This freedom generates in people a sense of "change", generating the feeling of empathy, making, consequently, the concern with delivery is personal and no longer "a concern of the company".

Respect the employee's time

Where before it was enough to get up from the table and go to the employee's desk or call the team for an alignment meeting, now it's necessary to schedule an online meeting, not many online meetings! The excess of online meetings demonstrates a lack of resources for the manager to have control over his team. Some use daily online meetings once, twice, or even three times a day to find out what the team is up to.

A Swedish study of 10,000 people defined a new disorder called " Zoom Fatigue ", a disorder unfortunately attributed to the online conferencing app Zoom. The excess of meetings caused, during the pandemic, a new problem for people. The home office, which for many was a dream, has become a nightmare.

The problem is in fact the lack of control and organization of the manager (or the company) and only the adoption of a management tool will be able to resolve the issue.

  1. Set two weekly meetings, preferably on the first and last day of the week
  2. Collect quick feedback from individuals on the team. Average feedback is very valuable
  3. In quick meetings, choose not to use video. It's more convenient for everyone

Respect the manager's time

If, on the one hand, employees suffer from an excess of meetings, on the other hand, the manager suffers from a lack of information to report feedback to their superiors and to the customer. The alternative it has is the excess of meetings, emails and briefings, but it is necessary that employees have a sense of responsibility, seeking to request less from the manager, trying to resolve issues between the team first and then call the manager.

  1. Try to give quick feedback about the projects to the manager. A paragraph summarizes a lot
  2. Feed the work tools and understand their importance
  3. Collaborate with the team. Home office involves personal and professional life, so be careful

Use a management tool

The right tool for managing home office projects and teams can completely change the work environment. Can you imagine an automatically generated summary of the week? A dashboard showing the customer's project progress? Teams collaborating on information centralized in a single place and generating automatic feedback?

Try Izzyplan . If your team is up to 5 people, it's free.

Photos: Ekaterina Bolovtsova | Stories
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