by Kellie Calvert, HR Director, Humber HR People  
We are seeing huge shifts in how we work and for many of our clients, this is the first time that they have a remote workforce. Based on our experiences over the past few weeks, here are some effective hints & tips to Manage Teams Remotely: 
Choose one communication platform, make sure everyone knows how to use it 
Make sure you have a common space to store and share documents 
Set goals/priorities so people stay focused – give regular feedback so people feel their contribution is valued 
Trust people, let them work to their own schedules, keep diaries up to date 
Focus on output (not the hours of input) 
Have a set space for informal meetings, where anyone can log in for a connection over a coffee to break up the working day 
Encourage an ethos of allowing people to work how they like, as long as they don’t let others down 
Have a weekly communication “from the top” to be honest about how Covid-19 is affecting business 
Wellbeing – For Everyone 
Not just remote workers are impacted by Covid-19. All employees want to know that their employers are doing the right thing, and how it effects them, or might effect them in the future. Regular, transparent, honest communication and contact with all employees, including those on furlough will keep them updated and engaged. Perhaps the most important question for managers to ask right now is ‘How are you?’ - and really take time to listen to the answer.  
Employers have a duty of care to their employees. It's a good idea to give guidance for home working, and create a space for everyone to contribute and be involved in looking after wellbeing while at home, if you haven't already. This could include:  
Share hints and tips for wellbeing - for example about new routines at home, healthy nutrition, daily exercise, staying connected and getting enough sleep. Some of our clients have arranged virtual sessions with Mindfulness Coaches, Yoga Teachers, Nutritionists and made the most of Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) that offer gym memberships with remote exercise classes  
Run a regular Q&A and share pdates on how your employees contracts are being managed - for example arrangements for annual leave or sickness absence.  
Provide a space for everyone to ‘meet’ for informal catch ups, virtual coffee check ins or a virtual pub quiz night.  
Have a space for those who may be struggling with mental health - and share links and resources, for example Mental Health first/NHS – Every Mind Matters.  
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