Leading with a light touch keeps the team productive
As remote working continues, many people are suffering from “lockdown lethargy”, making it hard to maintain energy and focus on work. Yet as organisations move into the recovery phase, we are seeing a renewed emphasis on productivity. How can leaders get the best from their teams when they’re not in the same physical environment?
Research suggests that working from home need not be a barrier to productivity, in fact it can enhance it. In a survey of businesses with employees working from home, 43% of respondents said it had positively impacted productivity, with only 29% saying the opposite.
So how can you create the right conditions for your teams to do their best work remotely? Here are three tips for team performance:
Create the right set up.
Doing great work means having clear boundaries between work and home. Give team members the flexibility to shape their day so that they can manage their family and domestic responsibilities and look after their mental and physical wellbeing. Also, check they have the right physical set up for comfortable working from home in the long term. After a few months of niggling back pain from sitting on a dining room chair, an upgrade might be in order…
Manage by results, not activity.
Trust your team to get their work done. Working longer hours doesn’t mean better results - productivity jumped 40% when Microsoft Japan tested a four-day working week in August last year.
Start with Why – and set clear goals.
Re-engage the team around the bigger picture – a sense of purpose around what the team is there for and why it matters drives motivation. Create clear, achievable weekly and monthly goals and discuss and feedback on results as a team, reviewing what worked well and how you can make it even better. For those struggling to stay on track, borrow a tip from motivation expert Dan Pink, and get team members to set a personal daily MIT– the one Most Important Thing that, if all else fails, will be achieved that day.
Working from home can mean a more, not less, productive team, and that’s great news for employees and businesses alike. You can help by putting the right foundations in place so your team can deliver their best work…then let them get on with it.