Is your remote team facing burnout?
This year has provided many challenges for managers and teams. Everyone had to adapt to working remotely quickly. And here in Melbourne, it looks like teams will continue to work from home well into next year. It is an important time for leadership tips to support your remote teams.
While working remotely has provided some employees with more time and flexibility, it also presents a lot of additional challenges and stresses for individuals.
Gallup has identified 6 key challenges that remote employees are facing right now. Here is a summary and some helpful tips to resolve these.
1) Employees do not know or understand their current/ new manager’s expectations
A lot of context can be missed when communicating remotely. In an office setting, we overhear conversations; we can be pulled into spontaneous meetings or discussions and easily ask short follow up questions. Provide crystal clear explanations and requests. Allow enough time for questions and clarification.
2) Employees feel untrusted, unseen or unheard
It can be hard to trust your employees that they are committed to their work when you don’t see them. Remember that you will build trust by trusting them first.
Establish ongoing, meaningful communication with each employee. Adapt to the specific needs of each individual but ensure you are in touch consistently. Consciously invest time to be available for each employee.
3) Employees are not able to separate work and personal life
Embrace this challenge with your team. Talk openly about the issues that arise from working from home, i.e. technology problems, family interruptions, flexible schedules. Be open to discussions around flexible schedules and help your employees to set boundaries around the time they work. Encourage your team members to take regular days off work and lead by example. Communicate how you manage your work-life balance and what steps you take for self-care.
4) Employees feel detached from their team and organisational culture
Your team might start to feel disconnected from your organisation’s values and norms. As a manager, it is your role to connect the work of your team to the company’s purpose and values. Share how the team is creating impact and highlight how team members live and show company values.
Invest time in social online activities. Make it a norm to get together for non-work related conversations and fun activities.
5) Employees feel isolated and lonely
Isolation can lead to a 21% reduction of productivity. Your employees might start to feel like their achievements or development is being ignored and might feel cut off from the business.
Ensure that you are there for your team deeply listen to your employees to notice signs of isolation and start to address it with the employee. Fixing isolation can help to relieve the emotion of feeling lonely.
6) Employees do not know how to create boundaries with colleagues
Work with your team to define their most productive schedule and help them communicate this to the rest of the team. Invest time into team bonding sessions to foster a psychological safe environment. This will help your team members to communicate their needs and limits clearly with the others and support one another. Lead by example.
It starts with the leader!
You as a leader are responsible to help manage these challenges with your team. Ensure you take care of yourself and manage your own stressors and emotions regularly to have enough emotional energy to make your team feel supported.
Want to do more for your team?
If you would like to invest in the development and relationships in your team, get in touch. I offer a variety of online team development workshops, masterclasses and coaching services. Contact me today to discuss how I can support you and your team to thrive during this time.
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Hickman, A., Wigert, B. : Lead Your Remote Team Away From Burnout, Not Toward It, Gallup Workplace, June 15 2020, https://www.gallup.com/workplace/312683/lead-remote-team-away-burnout-not-toward.aspx