As project managers for global projects, for us at Alight NGA HR working remotely is second nature. We regularly connect virtually with colleagues and customers all over the world. We as a result work with staff at customer locations, regional, global and/or offshore service centers using our global staff of consultants.
Increasingly, staff are no longer working in actual office locations, but must work from home due to the Cornoavirus COVID-19 pandemic. There can be challenges for these colleagues that are not all that used to working from home. They have to get used to working on their own without colleagues being around them.
Tips for managing remote workers:
- Be clear – Provide clear tasks and deadlines to your staff.
- Follow up – Explain assignments so instructions are understood and there are no concerns.
- Escalate – If required. Remind people of their role and responsibilities. If that does not work, seek support from (resource) management to mediate in order to improve performance.
- Remain close virtually – Show interest in your employees and follow up on any of their concerns. While not meeting face to face it is even more important to check on staff morale and health
- Show personal interest – Whilst project plan progress is important, you should be aware there is more to life. Showing a personal interest with your employees creates happier and more motivated staff, including yourself. Open calls with an anecdote or something fun you have seen or heard. Maybe ask colleagues about their plans for the weekend or what they have been watching on TV.
We are living in challenging times, but remain totally dependent on our staff health, wellbeing and expertise. Keeping them all motivated and engaged can ensure project success.
By Hugo Wouters, Program Manager, Alight | NGA HR