Working from home or remote working is a top career aspiration for Belgian employees when searching for a new job opportunity - with a big part of the Belgian current workforce working from home at least once or twice a week.
With the rise of remote working, businesses need to ensure that their managers are well geared up, to ensure remote management that drives productivity and fosters team spirit.
With remote working being a very attractive solution for attracting top talent, we offer advice to management looking to overcome concerns around flexible working and to better manage their workforce remotely.
Changing from behaviour-based to outcome-based assessment
On a day-to-day basis, managing remote working requires a move from behaviour-based monitoring to outcome based mindset. Instead of solely assessing performance according to what an employee is seen to be doing, managers should take their output or other deliverables into account and establish an environment of mutual trust.
Devising innovative alternatives to face-to-face communication
Flexible working can create communication challenges, as employees may feel less connection with each other. This can lead to a lower sense of belonging. Apart from specifying a set time of the week when the team can get together, we also advise managers to use alternative tools such as instant messaging and virtual meetings to foster communication.
It is vitally important that with the growth of a virtual workforce comes the need schedule online face-to-face catch ups. If managers do not take the time to carry out face-to-face online catch ups, there's the danger of misaligning activities, decreased motivation and detachment.
Take the time to schedule in video catch ups to reassure and guide your workforce to ensure maximum productivity.
Create an open culture of flexibility
Companies should also create a culture where employees do not feel they will be disadvantaged by flexible working arrangements. Some new joiners may struggle to learn if their manager or team members are not around. Managers are strongly recommended discussing flexible working arrangements openly with all team members to ensure that everyone is treated equally, and no one is hindered by others working from home.
Beware of others' work-life balance
With the use of mobile devices, the line between work and private life is blurring, and remote working can make the line between work and home life even thinner. We recommend not sending text messages after working hours, as people may feel that they are expected to answer right away. Managers should also keep an eye on their team's activities, ensuring that remote workers are not working excessively, as this can lead to high stress levels and even burn-out.