Stick to your routine:

True, you’re not jumping in a car, hopping on your bike or catching a bus, but stick to your routine. This will help you stay in the mindset of business as usual for a productivity, and help keep the feeling of ‘normalcy’ as much as possible. So while you may not be hitting the coffee drive-thru for a double-double on the way into the office, you can still set that coffee pot timer and be ready to go at your normal start time!

Set your schedule:

We should remain business as usual. Make sure you and your manager have clearly communicated schedule expectations and be prepared to adhere to start and end times, breaks and lunches as normal. And for those of you that are hourly, ensure your time keeping system is accurate, reflecting all time worked. For hourly or salary, continue to log all sick, vacation, FMLA time, etc. as you normally would.

Create your work space:

Don’t have a designated office space in your home? No problem—just be creative. Find a space you can dedicate as your own personal ‘office’, where you can stay organized and minimize disruptions to stay focused. You know your set-up best, so evaluate which location will allow you to be your most productive.

Stay engaged:

You may not have your peers sitting right next to you, but you are all still part of the same team, driving business the same as if you were in the office. Keep in touch with your peers and more importantly, your leadership team. Check in with each other, continue to bounce ideas off each other and help each other where needed.

Communication methods:

Consider all the tools you can use to keep in contact with your peers and leadership team and ensure you utilize the most effective ones for each situation—Teams, email, phone calls, etc. There is no one-size-fits-all here, and that’s OK! Use what’s is most effective for each scenario—this will help keep the ‘personal touch’ alive as much as possible and overall, the feeling of staying connected.

Create a clean workspace.

Use your resources:

Stay mindful of office resources that are available and work with your management team.

HAVE TEAM MEMBERS WORKING REMOTE? – WHAT NOW?

Be available:

Did we mention availability? This is key. Make sure you are available to your associates as much as possible. Keep your Outlook calendar up to date, reflecting your schedule accurately. Same for Teams. Ensure your status is accurate so associates know when you may be tied up vs. when you are free to communicate.

Use communication tools:

Consider all the tools you can use to keep in contact with your associates and ensure you utilize the most effective ones for each situation—Teams, email, phone calls, etc. There is no one-size-fits-all here, and that’s ok. Use what’s is most effective for each person and each circumstance. Consider using video as much as you can – this will help to keep a ‘personal touch’, read the non-verbal cues and overall, maintain a feeling of
staying connected.

Set Expectations:

What methods were you using while someone was in the office? Think about how you can use the same ones when remote. In the instance you may lack any definitive methods right now, just set basic expectations and goals with your team so they are clear on what’s is expected. Stay focused on goals and outcomes rather than activity.

Stay engaged:

You may not have your peers sitting right next to you, but you are all still part of the same team, driving business the same as if you were in the office. Keep in touch with your peers and more importantly, your leadership team. Check in with each other, continue to bounce ideas off each other and help each other where needed.

Touch base:

Think about what’s practical for your team! A 15-minute daily touch base? Every other day? Are you keeping 1:1s on the schedule? This is up to you as a leader, but don’t underestimate the importance of keeping everyone connected and in sync.

Be mindful of time zones:

For those of you that manage associates in other time zones, be mindful of the clock where they are, especially when setting a communication cadence.

Keep in mind you likely will have varying levels of remote work experience on your team, from those that have done it, to those who have not. So be patient and flexible based on each person’s needs.