Mumsnet Logo

to access all these features

NHS Coronavirus information. Information from Mumsnet hasn't checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have health concerns, please seek medical attention.

Related: Lockdown Learning, discuss home schooling during lockdown.


Remote Working: tips for a team manager

2 replies

EasyPeasyHappyCheesy · 18/03/2020 09:57

I am (as no doubt many) now managing a remote team. I would welcome any ideas, particularly from those that have been doing it for a while on -

if you are a manager - how do you keep the team motivated and happy, particularly with all the uncertainty around.
If you are within such a team - what would you like your manager to do/What works/doesn't work.

We have a Wattsapp group and everyone is now working from home. Also have access to Microsoft Teams, Skype, etc.

OP posts:
to access all these features

maxelly · 18/03/2020 15:19

I've been managing a remote/home based team for a while so this week while weird in lots of other ways isn't that unusual for me!

My team and I are by no means perfect and we've had to find our way by trial and error to some extent, but what I would mainly say is

Communication is so, so important and it is better to do too much than too little. Preferably talking to people where possible rather than emailling. I am very structured with having regular Monday morning all-team briefings, weekly project based catch ups, longer monthly team meets etc., but you will find a structure that works for you and your team. At the moment I am trying to make sure I have in some way 'checked in' with each and every member of the team on a daily basis, for some that's a simple wave or 'you OK' on Skype IM, for others that's a more detailed chat depending on personalities/work stages, but I am making sure no-one feels cut off or isolated. If you have a large team you may need to limit this to your own direct reports only and then get them to do the same with their direct reports and so on.

In addition to the structured sessions you should try and set an example for your team of being as contactable as possible and encouraging people to come to you or a team mate with even what may seem fairly minor questions/problems/ideas, the trouble with remote working is where in an office someone might feel able to stick their head round an office door or over a desk and say 'have you got a minute', with remote working they will often store things until the next scheduled catch up by which time it's too late/moment's gone etc. I make it a 'known' ground rule that I will never ever criticise or blame someone for asking a silly question or raising something that seems trivial with me - equally I trust their judgement and don't expect them to run everything by me - and this all applies to how they communicate with one another too.

The other thing that's important with a team who aren't used to working remotely is to try and find a way to facilitate 'social chat' and downtime without distracting people from work completely, which can be a tricky balance. Again in an office it's easier to have a quick chit-chat/gossip/moan to your colleague while making a tea or whatever then quickly/visibly return to your desks when you've had enough, whereas with remote working people tend to either feel they must be 100% concentrating and available to 'prove' they are working still, or they are piss taking and chatting/watching telly/doing housework or whatever. I set some initial expectations around contact-ability and productivity upfront with my team and then trust them to get on with it (giving feedback where necessary!). We have a daily chat thread going on Skype for inquiries about people's DC/pets/holidays, memes, jokes, rants about tricky customers etc. to replicate that office social atmosphere a bit but I do tell people to hush/get back to work if they are on there too much (bit like having to occasionally quieten down the office chatterboxes, advantage is you can mute the chat thread Grin )

Good luck, use your common sense, sense of humour and general humanity and I am sure you will find a way through!

to access all these features

willywillywillywilly · 18/03/2020 15:31

Teams is good as you can have a facetime type-thing with your team and also there is an IM function.
I have 3 in my time who have never worked from home and they are worried about being thought skivers when no-one is there to physically see them - so I have an important job to do to explain that's not the case (they are extremely hardworking).
I am watching for tips too!

to access all these features
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?