The digital, decentralized work opportunities and the pandemic have resulted in an immediate shift from office work to working from home. The resulting challenges are significant, both for the concerned employees and their surroundings as well as for the employer with its management principles.
We asked Markus Müller, an expert in reorganization and Interim manager of Top Fifty, how he deals with the situation.
Who are you?
For around ten years, I have been working as an interim manager in different companies. People like me are then in demand when things did not go as planned in these businesses.
I love to take on new, challenging tasks in an unfamiliar environment. Often, I can support people in their work and motivate them using questions, suggestions or even "helping out" to successfully do things that were previously unthinkable for them.
Why can you give us a particularly good answer to the question of managing employees working from home?
Simultaneously as the first lockdown began, I started a new mandate with activities in Switzerland and the USA. Training and getting to know employees and colleagues took place working from home. I worked as closely as possible with my teams in both time zones. In doing this, I have further developed one or the other method for myself.
At the moment, a lot of employees are expected to work from home. What is your strategy to lead your co-workers accordingly?
Most importantly, working from home does not change anything regarding your responsibility and the tasks at hand. However, leadership in general has become more challenging.
Try and stay in close contact with your co-workers, despite the distance. Arrange meetings on a regular basis. Make use of the existing digital possibilities to encourage the exchange of ideas and discussions in advance. Make an effort to read between the lines and assess the atmosphere correctly. Check with your co-workers regularly, not only regarding their performance but also empathize with their personal concerns. Use this opportunity to give some positive feedback.
In this way, you demonstrate your interest and at the same time, ensure to get co-workers on your side - notwithstanding the distance. Contact your co-workers unprompted from time to time. In the office, you would also run into each other on your way to the coffee machine and get a chance to chat.
You should see working from home as an opportunity – your employees would much rather be productive when they feel your positive attitude.
It is a challenge for everyone to adapt quickly to new requirements. Successfully managing a reorganization requires a lot of experience in dealing with changes. Interim managers from Top Fifty bring exactly this practical knowledge with them and quickly achieve good results. We quickly and easily provide you with experts who support you in mastering such challenges.
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