How to manage your manager
It pays to make your boss better.
The popularity of remote working is soaring, and there are many benefits. However, if it comes at the expense of human connections, it can lead to hollowed-out workplaces and solitary working lives.
Maintain balance. People’s engagement is highest when they combine working in the office with working remotely. Discuss which activities are best served by face-to-face interactions. Sometimes, nothing beats a group of people in a room debating and building on each other’s ideas. Conversely, anything that requires deep thinking benefits from a quiet and interruption-free environment.
Don’t micromanage from afar. You’ll sever the trust that is essential for remote working and make coming into the office increasingly unattractive. So agree on outcomes and let your people decide how they will get it done. After all, they tend to be the experts on how they function best.
Spread the culture. Call your remote team members to catch up and share a little gossip. Spontaneously get in touch to thank them for a job well done, or to share news about a breakthrough. Whenever something big is happening, make sure they’re not the last to know – and give them a chance to get involved.
Walk a mile in your team’s shoes. Ask your teammates and manager what they need from you to make it work, and get regular feedback on how easy it is to work remotely with you. Go out of your way to share what you are working on and the progress you are making.
Take care of the little things. Upgrade your internet, sound-proof your home office and light it well. Choose remote locations wisely: background noise from a busy café is infuriating on a call. When calling a team member unannounced, always ask: “Am I disturbing you?”
Not everything works remotely. Go to the office for meetings that require substantial interaction and to get regular doses of the culture. Otherwise, how will you stay visible and know who is moving and shaking your organisation?