Remote for Teams – a Tip for Managers

Maaike Dokter

Strong measures have been taken to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus. These measures have a lot of impact on companies and the economy in general. Where possible, companies are asked to let their employees work remotely from home to ensure social contact is avoided as much as possible. We want to help.

At Xablu, we have years of experience when it comes to remote work. While remote working has always been a blessing to our company, we understand many companies do not have experience with remote work and are struggling with this transition.

In a time where we are asked to all work remote from home, collaborating as a team becomes even more important. In every work situation, successful teamwork is important, but remote working can shed a light on aspects in which the team dynamics need to be improved. However, making this a top priority now can mean longer lasting effects on the team, also when office hours are reinstated in the future. Working from home without colleagues directly in your environment does not mean working alone: now, more than ever, communication and collaboration need to be a top priority.

In the upcoming days, we will share some tips and tricks we have learned while working remotely for many years.

A First Tip for Managers

The first tip we would like to share is open to interpretation on the practical side, but the underlying thought is crucial to make the transition to remote work as welcoming as possible: trust. It can be tempting for managers to start micro-managing colleagues when working from home, but this can dampen the mood and have a negative impact on the work being done or the mindset of colleagues. We understand managers prefer being able to see what their colleagues are working on like they can at the office, but starting to “monitor” your colleagues can create a sense of distrust (e.g. always have your camera on, not allowing to mute in calls, let others know when you go to the bathroom, etc.). Working remotely requires a sense of trust between colleagues that everyone is doing their work as well as they can.

Check in on colleagues every once in a while, but also let them work on their projects and allow for unannounced toilet and coffee breaks. Remote work requires changes, including ones in the mindset. Showing you trust your colleagues is crucial to making remote work a success.

Do not let required remote working discourage you: working from home has always been part of Xablu’s DNA and we see many benefits it has to offer.