As remote working starts to become a new norm due to COVID-19, Lord Mark Price former minister of state at the Department for International Trade and founder of Engaging Works believes as time goes on, remote working may become mandatory and that managers should not fear remote working and trust their staff.
Lord Price said:
You have to trust people, know what their aim is for the week and let them do it. Research in to remote working states that it can increase an employee’s mental health and productivity. That is part of the reason why you should trust your staff whilst working remotely.
Remote working can make certain aspects of the job more challenging. Lord Price said you must work harder to get feedback from your staff. You have to work harder to provide recognition for members of your team, as if you do not recognise your staff for their hard work, they may start to feel isolated from their team very quickly.
Lord Price also said:
When communicating mostly through email it is very easy for people to misunderstand what you are saying. They may mistake something as negative when it is not.
Still, Lord Price believes communicating effectively can circumvent some of these issues. Whilst he was managing director of Waitrose, he said he would have a list of his senior team and try to call up everyone at least once a week whilst remote working. He went on to explain how some people are just more naturally drawn to talking on the phone.
Not to mention other perks, like no more commuting to work, reducing stress and expenses. In September 2019, Moneybarn, a specialist vehicle finance provider, revealed that 57 per cent of UK workers stated that they do not receive assistance from their employer to ease the stress levels caused by commuting.
Creating this trust with your employees is important as remote working has experienced a sharp increase over the past 10 years, Lord Price said. Employers can also experience significant office cost reduction.