'Managing from Home' Tips from Our Experts
Working from home is one thing, but what about managing from home?
As a dispersed organization with a predominantly remote workforce, we know a thing or two about not only working from home, but managing from home as well.
Managing from home — especially for the first time — presents a unique set of challenges. How do you motivate, collaborate with, and support your teams when you can’t be in the same room?
We asked our managers throughout the company to share their tips with us, and we’re excited to share them with you!
Our Top Tips for Managing from Home
Trust Your Teams
"The biggest barrier many managers have when their team goes remote is trusting that people are working and not doing other things such as laundry or dinner prep. You need to let it go… in fact, it’s OK if people can do those things, and more — it's actually a great motivator! The measure of performance and success should be whether or not people are available when you need them, and the high quality of work they produce. If people are meeting the organizational goals and fitting in a few chores, that’s a big win-win for everyone."
– Leslie F., Executive Team – North Carolina, USA
“Daily check-ins are a great way to stay on the pulse of how your people are doing — these shouldn’t be about micromanaging (that’s flat out annoying and kills motivation), but instead about really checking in with your people. Do they have what they need? Do they need more support? Stay active with your teams both by phone and email — it’ll help everyone involved stay more engaged.”
– Ken B., Sales & Marketing Team – Colorado, USA
Facilitate Collaboration & Share Successes
“It’s easy to feel disengaged when working remotely. Use the technology tools at your disposal to foster collaboration and engagement — use virtual break rooms and message boards to share positive news, recipes, whatever you want. It’s important to keep your team connected on a personal level, especially when they are used to working together in person.”
– Diane J., Customer Success Team – Belgium, EU
Be Flexible & Understanding
“Recognize that you will work with people all over the social spectrum and be willing to meet them part way. When I work with people who need to see facial expressions and gestures, I turn on my webcam. When I work with people who are much more comfortable typing versus speaking, I chat. And I always keep a virtual 'Open Door' policy so my team members know I am always available if they need anything.”
– Jeffrey S., Engineering Team – Colorado, USA
Prioritize Social Time for Your Teams
“When working virtually, the informal interactions that might have happened in the break room or walking down the hall now actually have to be planned (as counter-intuitive as that may sound). Make time at the beginning of meetings to just check-in with those on the call, and schedule virtual hangouts or happy hours to get your teams together for non-work-related interaction. You’d be amazed how much of an impact it can have on morale.””
– Stuart G., Education & Training Team – Iowa, USA
Encourage Your Teams to Take Care of Themselves
“People often feel less inclined to take time off when working from home, but the reality is that working from home can be just as stressful and demanding as working in an office environment. Encourage your people to take time off when they need it — whether that's taking PTO or just taking a long break to go for a walk — it doesn’t matter that they can’t travel anywhere. Giving yourself the time and space to decompress is vital to avoiding burnout.”
– Dale W., Product Management Team – Florida, USA
We hope these tips help make the adjustment to managing from home a successful one!
At Xyleme, we’re committed to helping our partners succeed in an ever-changing learning ecosystem, and we’ve been empowering organizations to create, publish, deliver, manage, maintain and analyze learning content more effectively since 2004.