The number of employees working remotely has risen significantly following the recent pandemic, with statistics showing that 38% of people now work from home in some capacity. This workplace revolution means that dynamics are changing, and many businesses are unsure how to manage their staff remotely.
It’s important that your staff feel valued and trusted in order for them to stay motivated. Without bosses looking over workers’ shoulders, it can be easy to feel like nothing is getting done, but many people are actually more productive when left to their own devices.
In this article, we look at how employers can build this trusting relationship with their employees in order to successfully adapt to the ever-changing workplace. Promote open communication
Promoting a culture based on open and honest communication is key to building trust. If your employees feel like they can come to you with questions and issues without judgment, it means problems can be solved much faster. They’re more likely to bring awareness to any issues if there’s a culture of openness and support, rather than a fear of being reprimanded.
This also means listening to their needs outside of work and trusting them to manage their own time. If an employee needs to step away from their desk to do the school run or go to an appointment, it’s important that you trust them to manage their own workload accordingly and ensure nothing runs behind.
Set clear expectations
At the same time, expectations should be set right from the start to avoid any misunderstandings. It’s vital that your employees know exactly what is expected of them when they’re at home, as it’s not always as clear as it would be in your typical office environment.
Set working hours or meeting times should be discussed in advance, ensuring that the employee is aware and can move their schedule around accordingly. Alternatively, if there are no fixed hours, it’s helpful to establish a guide as to how much work is expected to be completed each day.
Use remote working tools
Online business communication platforms are growing rapidly in popularity following the uptick in remote working. Tools such as messaging platforms, video conferencing software, and shared calendars have proven to be incredibly effective for remote teams.
It’s important to ensure all employees are familiar with any communication tools available within the business, and that they know how to use them effectively. Utilizing statuses and do not disturb features is particularly useful, helping to keep track of when people are available and when they’ll be away from their desks.
To get the most out of these tools, encourage your employees to be honest when setting statuses. If they’re unavailable, it’s much more valuable to other colleagues if the employee is honest and sets an appropriate status, rather than trying to pretend that they’re always available. That way, other workers know to either reach out to someone else or that their response won’t be instant.
The foundations of successful remote working are based on different forms of effective communication. If you can establish a judgment-free culture of honesty and openness, you’re well on your way to building trusting relationships.
Author information: James Ritter – A digital consultant with a particular interest in employee welfare, and has advocated for content about the wellbeing of employees. He majored in creative writing at university and is always eager to expand his knowledge around different subjects.