Now more than ever you need to trust that people working from home will be getting on with the job. Just because they are out of sight of their manager that doesn’t mean they are sitting around watching television. It’s most likely that they are finding creative ways of getting work done without coming in to their usual workplace.
Home working isn’t new. Thousands of people were working at least some of their time from home before the crisis. What’s different now is that millions of people have been forced to stay at home and still get their job done remotely. For some, that might be a simple transfer of tasks from a desk in an office to a desk at home. For others it will be a major upheaval.
What is new is the situation facing managers. You may be one of those who was not sure you could trust people to work from home. Would the work get done effectively and on time? How could you be sure people would collaborate with colleagues? How would you keep control? It was probably too big a risk to allow people to work from home on a full-time basis except under very unusual circumstances.
Well, now the unusual situation is here and you have no choice. The building is closed and nobody can come in, but you still have deadlines to meet and people to manage. You may not have trusted that they could work from home without proper supervision, now you are finding out. This crisis is bringing out the best in people. If you trust that they will get the job done at home and give them the freedom to do it, you will find they respond positively. And when the situation returns to normal you will find you have discovered a new working relationship that is highly productive.