During this lockdown period, people have not only learned how to mute themselves on Zoom, or chair a virtual meeting. They have also increased their self-reliance, become used to taking their own decisions, and getting on with their work with minimal control. They have organised their time and their work to suit other elements of their lives and have thrived on setting goals and priorities. 

These are the positive aspects of home working and it is unlikely people will want to give them up.

As we discussed in my last blog, there are downsides too. Remote working might mean they have been somewhat disconnected from the work of the others on the team, and might not have always been on the same page as you in setting their goals and priorities. Isolation may have caused them to be less approachable and their relationships with others may have changed as a result. Some of these relationships might rekindle quickly, but others may be problematic. 

In this new context, people must be trusted to do the work, take decisions and represent the business without control or supervision. None of which means that people are unsupervised or unsupported, but it does call for a lighter touch, within clear boundaries. 

Return to the office means you need a new game plan for leading and managing your team:

  • reset your vision
  • build team spirit as though you are starting from scratch
  • keep people on track by reviewing goals and priorities
  • put extra effort into your relationship with each team member so as to adapt to their needs. 

It is to your advantage that your people are more self-reliant and autonomous.

Curate in-house resources to help your managers change their game plan with our online courses on Leading Mixed and Office-Based teams. For just £50 plus VAT per person and approximately six hours of guided exercises with tips and ideas.

©Janice Caplan 2020