A lack of structure is the biggest challenge in the home office
The lack of structure is often the greatest challenge. Work and private life are becoming more and more mixed up. And because work at home competes with the vacuum cleaner and YouTube, the meeting with the children and the parrot, the focus sometimes shifts. The end of the song is: There is simply too much left lying around. The to-do list grows immeasurably. And in most cases the week only has five working days!
So if you take a closer look, you will soon come to the conclusion: Companies now finally have to act. And leaders are ready for something they were never trained to do.
Leading at a distance is a challenge
Not an easy discipline for managers. Especially since they have to cope with their everyday life differently than before. You are rediscovering and reinventing yourself, so to speak. Culture (probably the companies that have already built it up) and trust (good when a team already has a common mindset) are important.
If not, how about an update? Including definition of how one now wants to work with one another under the new conditions. Which communication tools for what? How should meetings work? On this occasion, one could also critically question all the meetings (also called “Müdings”) that used to take place live.
Leading with heart and mind
As a manager, you should also have a few additional ideas up your sleeve on how to encourage interaction in the team. Inspire your employees with information snacks (online lectures, small impulses or discussion sessions). Give away a good book that you have just read and that has made a lasting impression on you. Motivate with good communication and serious appreciation. And most importantly: be interested in your employees.
A manager doesn't really know how their employees are doing in the home office. The small image section in Zoom or Teams does not reveal the inner state of health. Every manager now has the chance to score right here. By taking care of the other's mental wellbeing.
Bosses should lead
Working from home forces executives to do exactly what is at the top of their job description: leadership. And when there is no small talk in the cafeteria, it is important to replace it virtually. How about, for example, regular digital “after work drinks”?
Now is the perfect opportunity to invite employees on board, if they haven't already. Talk about culture, about cooperation, about opportunities and potential in the future. Take off the cool mask and show yourself as a manager as you really are. Acting coolness is counterproductive, especially in a crisis.
Leadership - but with focus, please
The concerns of many executives that productivity will suffer in the home office are mostly unfounded. On the contrary: a study with 16.000 employees (“Does working from home work?”) Showed that people are 13 percent more productive at home. A UN study also showed that more unpaid work was done within one's own four walls.
It is important that people in the home office learn to create a structure very quickly and become aware of their self-discipline. If you miss this experience, you will find yourself in pajamas, unshaven and hairless on the bed with the laptop. Fortunately, online sessions are held regularly. This counteracts the comfort zone, because then at least the upper third of your own body must be suitable for a camera.
Motivation is particularly important in times of crisis
Yes, management gurus say that every employee is responsible for their own motivation. That's basically true. But in challenging times everything is a little different. It is particularly appreciated when the boss asks about your well-being from time to time.
Yes, it seems unfair. Employees should be motivated, praised and valued. And who does that with executives? You shouldn't hope to be praised. Rather, it is about a good manager knowing why they are doing what they are doing. You have that Sense Defined by the work for yourself, you are less dependent on praise and recognition from outside.
When worries increase
In difficult situations in which we have little experience and a lot has changed, fears and uncertainty are inevitable. According to a representative study by the Link research institute, the mood of the Swiss population deteriorated significantly within a year (from January 2020 to January 2021). More than half of the respondents said that their fears and worries had increased, and a quarter of the respondents slept worse.
Ultimately, every crisis is a mental challenge. And as a manager you are not only responsible for yourself, you also have to be there for your employees. If this is done in a supportive, benevolent and appreciative manner and if managers convey meaning, teams and companies remain efficient even in crises.
Mindset shift - when buzzwords become important
This means that the business buzzword “mindset” should now be paid much more attention than before. It is important what we focus on and where we consciously direct our mindset. You can read and hear the latest Coron every houra-Zand the next frustrating lockdown measures, this is not the breeding ground for inspiration and motivation.
We should be a little more critical of what we let in "up there" because it has a decisive influence on our mood, our energy and thus our performance.
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