It’s a scene we all know well; all the team members are packing up to go home and the boss is still furiously tapping away in their office, where they’ll still be for several hours if the timestamps on your morning emails are anything to go by. On the whole, bosses should be the first one in and the last one out of the office, so what happens if your manager decides to work from home? Or can they even work from home? Let’s find out.
Check Your Calendar
This is a rule for anyone working from home, not just management, but it counts doubly for those in power. Sure, technology means that you can conduct a meeting from anywhere with an internet connection, but if clients are coming down to the office and expecting you to be there, then you better be in the office.
Likewise if there’s a reason you 100% need to be at home - a big delivery or a childcare issue - and it doesn’t impact your tasks for that day, go ahead. One-to-ones can be done over the phone or Skype, VPNs mean that you can still access your secure work drives away from the office network, it’s all digital which lends itself pretty spectacularly to the remote worker.
Trust Your Team
This is a biggy. Most managers think they can’t work remotely because they believe that their team will essentially, take the piss. Whilst this may be true of a few people (who hasn’t cranked the radio and had a sneaky extra 10 minutes for lunch when the boss is off?) on the whole your employees will just get on with things.
If you keep your one-to-ones scheduled in so that they know that you’ll be wanting a status update on their projects, they’ll keep to task. But at the same time, don’t badger them to ensure that they’re constantly working. This kind of militant monitoring will only hinder progress by making your team stop working every time you call. You hired and trained them so you should trust them enough to do a good job in your physical absence.
Treat Your Home Like Your Office
Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still abide by the first in last out rule. Your employees need to know that they can contact you about work issues just as easily as they could if you were in the office. Great management comes from being available to have that crucial two-way conversation and an open dialogue - great things happen when we talk, so make sure you’re around to listen and contribute.
Similarly, if you’re going to be doing Skype interviews dress appropriately - at least on the top, if no one can see your comfy pyjama bottoms on the screen, go crazy. By keeping part of your normal workday routine of getting dressed, starting and ending the day at the same time, it’ll also help get your head in the right frame of mind to get on with your tasks, rather than getting distracted by the novelty of working from home.
I mean like any other member of staff, of course bosses can work from home if they’d like to. Yes, they might not be able to do it quite so often due to client and departmental meetings that may have to happen in person, but on the whole, as long as you check your calendar and ensure that your team all know what they’re doing, there’s no reason you have to be glued to that office chair.
At Wundamail, we appreciate that bosses might not be with their teams 100% of the time, but that they still need to check in now and again. What makes Wundamail different is that it condenses team activity into a simple, daily email. More than just a chat, it structures the conversation so that words become actions, and ideas become solutions.
Each day, you get a report of your team’s activity, and so does everyone else. Just like that, a simple compilation email transforms team thinking- no apps, usernames or passwords needed.
Wundamail is the way to manage teams in 2019. Start the conversation today, because great things happen when we talk.