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Managing the remote workforce in 2021 and beyond

With recent studies suggesting 40% to 50% of Australian workers are completing some work from home, COVID-19 has forced a fundamental shift in business’ approach to remote work.

Is this just a temporary fix to a once in a century pandemic, or has the nature of work changed forever? For workers, there are several things to consider when it comes to ‘working from home etiquette’. But what about managers and business owners?

Managing Staff Remotely

One of the main concerns of management with their staff working remotely is being uncomfortable not being able to see and know what workers are doing on company time, even when it appears work tasks and projects are being delivered on.

The Forbes Human Resources Council is an invitation only organisation for HR executives and leaders, and recently provided 12 of the best practices around managing staff remotely. Here are 6 of them:

1. Set Clear Expectations And Measurable Goals

Clear and measurable goals are an important part of doing business, but even more important with staff working from home. Teams need clear direction, targets and support, without the micromanaging of multiple check-ins each day.

2. Stay Connected And Build Community

There’s a plethora of collaboration tools available, such as Slack, Zoom, Google Hangouts….the list goes on. It’s important to find time each day to create touchpoints where staff can connect with another so as to not erode company culture.

3. Hire The Right People

Good talent doesn’t need to be monitored, and having to monitor staff is neither effective nor ethical. With the right people in place, productivity will increase and there will be no need to potentially compromise employee privacy with over-monitoring.

4. Create A Culture Of Trust With Focus On Outcomes

If leaders and managers micromanage and over-monitor, this erodes trust. Staff need to focus on goals and outcomes instead, while providing visibility to management on their daily work plans.

5. Communicate Priorities

If leaders regularly communicate the company’s purpose and priorities, encourage feedback from employees and reward and recognise performance, employee engagement will be enhanced. As outlined in point 2, leveraging technology will help with employee connection and communication.

6. Structure Work With Founts Of Joy And Creativity

The best way to ensure work is being done is to create an environment where people can connect more deeply with innate founts of joy and creativity.

Will working from home stick post-pandemic?

With millions of workers across the globe now experiencing a different, more flexible working life, a return to a pre-pandemic working from home levels seems unlikely.

From understanding productivity, technology and resourcing through to employee motivation and mental health, navigating the working from home revolution will be yet another challenge for the business owners and managers of Australia and the world.

Read the full article published on Forbes.