The consequences of the COVID-19 crisis leave you no choice: as a manager, you will need to master the art of efficiently supervising your team remotely. Here are some tips for mobilizing your team and continuing to meet your company’s objectives during these unprecedented times.

1. Make teleworking a part of your corporate culture

Telework is bound to become a part of our professional habits in the coming years. Therefore, your company would benefit from creating a corporate culture that acknowledges the pros of letting employees work from home. The example could even come from senior management!
Establish a set of rules in regards to teleworking, and make sure to define a clear and concise managerial structure and approach. You could even add a training component on the subject for new employees, demonstrating how important teleworking is to the company.

2. Ensure constant communication

Regular communication is the key to keeping your team strong and united, even from at a distance. As manager, you have a responsibility to keep your employees informed of what’s going on within the company. But be careful! While regular communication is essential, make sure you don’t end up micro-managing.
Try scheduling a virtual team meeting in the morning; it’s the perfect occasion to plan out the day’s tasks and exchange with the team over coffee. An end-of-day meeting is also ideal, as it allows you to go over what’s been done, as well as to make plans for the next day.

3. Take advantage of collaborative tools

For optimal results and productivity, employees working from home need to be able to rely on the technology necessary to complete their tasks. In that vein, set aside some time to perform technical tests before an important meeting or following the purchase of new software, for example.
A videoconference tool (for example, Zoom or Skype), a laptop with integrated camera, a headset to optimize sound quality, and access to a team collaboration software (think Slack or Microsoft Teams) are all indispensable. As manager, you’ll especially appreciate the features of the latter two when it comes to facilitating your remote management duties.

4. Fix realistic objectives

Don’t hesitate to set tasks for your employees—that way they’ll know what’s expected of them and it’ll be easier for them to manage their time and get results. Remember that in a teleworking context, it’s better to adopt a management style based on results. Determine an objective to be reached, with a due date for each task.
Give your teleworkers the flexibility to manage their own schedule and office hours, all while fixing clear, realistic goals. When it comes to teleworking, consider giving more responsibilities and autonomy to your team; they’ll appreciate the vote of confidence. And, because we can’t say it enough: don’t micro-manage!

5. Aim for the wellbeing of all

The current COVID-19 crisis comes with its fair share of anxiety for workers, as well as an upheaval in companies’ operations. Your employees, accustomed to grabbing their morning coffee at the corner café, are stuck at home, with an upside-down routine. As manager, you need to take that into account.
Don’t hesitate to celebrate your team’s success—big or small. Empathy is your best ally during these uncertain times. Try to be understanding of an employee’s insecurities and help them set up an ergonomic office at home; these are just two examples of how to keep strong ties with your team… even remotely!