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Managing & working remotely during COVID-19

Areas of Focus, Tips and Solutions for managers & employees while working remotely

Your Questions answered

1. The majority of my team are working from home for the first time, how can I ensure we remain productive?

  • Regular and consistent communication is key, have daily check-ins with your team
  • Create work plans for the team that need to be updated daily
  • Encourage employees to create structure and a dedicated workspace
  • Trust your employees to perform to work to their usual standards

2. I’m finding it difficult to keep my team motivated, how can I encourage them to remain enthusiastic and focused on goals?

  • Encourage your team to stick to their normal routine i.e. take regular breaks and stick to normal working hours
  • Line up an accountability buddy to encourage collaboration
  • Invest in your teams personal growth by sharing relevant podcasts and TED talks

3. As an organisation we have spent a lot of time developing our culture, how can we ensure this is maintained while the team is dispersed?

  • Effective communication is fundamental, keeping remote employees informed and in the loop can help to reinforce the culture of the organisation
  • Provide regular feedback to employees and recognise great work
  • Provide opportunities for social interaction e.g. virtual tea/coffee break over Microsoft Teams, Zoom etc.

4. Some of my team are struggling with social isolation and are finding it difficult to adjust to new ways of working, how can I help them?

  • Offer encouragement and emotional support
  • Monitor the tone of written communication and follow up with team members that seem distant
  • Remain calm and optimistic, as a leader your behaviour will influence how your team reacts

5. How can I ensure my team continue with required training and development while working remotely?

  • Clearly articulate learning objectives to employees
  • Create detailed learning and development matrices
  • Focus on micro learning – provide training on a single topic in a five to 10-minute segment

6. I’m finding it difficult to maintain my performance management responsibilities without meeting my team face to face, how can I manage this?

  • Maintain your usual performance management style as much as possible e.g. have a weekly catch up over Skype
  • Give feedback regularly and encourage the behaviours you want from your team
  • Clarify goals and priorities frequently

7. As an organisation we are finding it difficult to adjust to agile ways of working with minimal preparation or training, how can we improve this?

  • Be flexible, you may need to reset your expectations and focus on results rather than how work gets done
  • Keep a diary of what worked well/ what didn’t while working from home, this can inform future strategies on agile practices
  • Request feedback from your team in relation to processes and communication, did these work well while working remotely?

8. The capacity of the team has been reduced as a number of the team are sick/don’t have remote access, how can we continue to deliver to our usual standards?

  • Prioritise the workload and focus on critical tasks first
  • Ensure the work plan for your team is being updated daily, this will highlight progress and any issues that might arise
  • Encourage your team to inform you if they are finding it difficult to complete tasks on time or if they have additional capacity

How can we help?

At Grant Thornton we provide a wide range of people strategy and training supports that can be delivered remotely to meet your needs including:

  • Developing a Covid-19 or remote working strategy around your people
  • Executive and one to one coaching to support employees at all levels in your organisation
  • Emotional Intelligence supports to help cope with and positively manage in challenging times
  • Resilience & Soft Skills Training & Masterclasses
  • Bespoke Soft Skills and Technical Training delivered remotely