As a manager or supervisor, you’re no stranger to the tough working conditions of the past few months. When you’re trying to manage employees who are working from home, it can be hard to get maximum productivity from your team. Business executive Ken Loeb is sharing his top tips for helping your employees to maximize your workday, no matter how different the conditions may be from a regular day in the office.
First, Ken Loeb recommends making it clear to your employees that you understand many of them are facing unusual situations. Whether they’re struggling with child care, have a spouse who is out of work, or are trying to homeschool while also getting their own work done, stress levels are high. When you put this understanding out to your employees, you’re making it clear that you’re a team that will overcome obstacles together, rather than use those obstacles as an excuse for a lack of productivity, says Ken Loeb.
Ken Loeb also recommends setting daily and/ or weekly goals with your employees but being flexible with how and when they achieve their goals. For employees with small children at home, it may make the most sense to work furiously while their children are asleep while keeping a more relaxed schedule during the day. For employees who are able to maintain a more standard office schedule, working 9-5 (and not checking email for the rest of the evening) may make more sense. Regardless of when your employees choose to work, take note of any personal situations they share with you, and do your best to be mindful of when they’re able to be most productive, suggests Ken Loeb.
It’s also important to define boundaries for yourself, according to Ken Loeb. While employees may be getting their work done at odd hours, they shouldn’t be expecting replies from you in the middle of the night. Let employees know what your working hours are, and that if they contact you after your business hours have ended for the day, you’ll reply the following morning.
Remember the old adage about meetings that could have been emails? Ken Loeb says that this applies to working from home as well. Don’t force your team into an unnecessary daily Zoom just for the sake of having a meeting. Getting some face time in can be helpful, but it can occur on a weekly basis, rather than daily. Your team will appreciate your respect for their time, and your trust for them will likely encourage an increase in productivity, according to Ken Loeb.