3 Steps To Managing a Work-From-Home Team

By Catherine Lang-Cline

Working from home is something that employees have wanted for a long time. It took a pandemic for most companies to realize that for many of their positions, they could be done from home. Companies also realized that they didn’t need all of that office space and furniture either. But with everyone or almost everyone working out of the office now, how can you manage them? Hopefully, you will find these 3 tips helpful in making it all run more smoothly:

  1. Show them the way. Good managers are able to provide a path for their team to follow. Make sure you have a written process for every role so each team member knows their exact job. And then also be aware that each individual is going to do it differently. Check-in with them weekly as individuals to make sure that they are getting everything that they need from everyone; fellow employees, vendors, and clients. Weekly check-ins with your employees will make sure that anything that is not outlined in the procedure guide gets done.

  2. Goals, not hours. There is no way of knowing when a remote employee is actually sitting down to start work or when they choose to stop. It is better to give them short and long-term goals. Rather than wondering, “Is everyone working or goofing off?” tell then your expectations. Set a number of phone calls you want them to place, items you wish to sell, or projects you want them to complete. Don’t be so concerned about what hours of the day they will get it done, just as long as they meet their goals. They might have to step away in the middle of a workday to get to the minute-clinic before it closes or pick up a child from a sports event but they will work on a Sunday to get a project done for you. 

  3. Hire for values. The hardest part of managing a team from far away is that sometimes you have to hire a new person. Be proactive. Keep a file of people that you meet knowing that they would be a great fit for your company…someday. What is fantastic is that if the team is remote, you no longer have to worry about geography when hiring people, so that one person that really got away, could very well still be able to work for you. Since you can’t be in the same room, you will really need to get good at your interviewing skills. As questions like, “how do you schedule your day?” “in your past experience, how did you and your manager communicate?” “how do you handle issues?” and “how do you set goals for yourself?” Ask questions that are written specifically around your values. You need a person that is not only self-sufficient but also clear with communication and a fit for your values. Again, if you already met them or know of their work, you are ahead of the game because you are not meeting a stranger.

The management style that everyone is having to adjust to is one of trust. We need teams that we can trust. But they also need for us to manage and let them know our expectations. Once that is all understood, they can manage their schedule. The more people that we meet the more we are fascinated by how different people work, and yet, get the work done. That liberty not only buys you a strong team but also a loyal one.

If you are struggling to find creative people, we know thousands of people. Contact us at Portfolio Creative and we will send you a person that already understands the tactics of a “work-from-home” career.