The topic of the day for many businesses: managing homeworkers.
Or leading them? What might be the difference?
There are lengthy articles appearing outlining both the practical angles (which technologies to use) and policy considerations. Hmmm…policy. It has its place but now is not the time to default to trying to control, is it?
More forward-thinking businesses will be values-based in how they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. We all have the opportunity to “get this right”, to show that the values are not just a fictitious list on the office wall.
My view? Aside from the practical/facilities/technology needs why don’t we all simply focus on:
Most people want to do a good job. Most people will adapt to new circumstances. Many will be more productive away from the office environment. So treat them as if this is the case and don’t try to over-manage homeworkers.
Don’t obsess about the hours being put in. Don’t worry if someone isn’t immediately available if you call them or if they take a while to reply to your email. Instead relax, agree what good looks like in terms of outcomes, strike deals within the team on who is delivering what and talk about that. Regularly.
Keeping talking and being kind
Isolation is a risk so ensure everyone in the team is talking to one another, regularly. People will be facing difficult personal circumstances so ensure mutual support is alive, that you are being kind as a manager/leader.
This does not have to be difficult. It’s actually quite straightforward. Apply these three principles to managing homeworkers and you’ll be heading in the right direction.