From Milan to Puget Sound, tens of thousands of Microsoft employees in impacted areas have begun working from home. Many of our customers have asked us to share the details of how we enable remote work for such a large workforce. They have spent the past few years transforming end-user productivity across the company and learning so much along the way. Here, she walks us through the top ways CSEO is enabling remote work. Over to you, Nathalie.
When people ask me about my job, I tell them my team and I make sure every Microsoft employee has the tools, resources, and solutions to be as productive, creative, and secure as possible—working from any location and on any device. Getting there has required that we manage identity and network access for all users; help ensure devices used to access the network are secure and healthy; and provide users access to the productivity-enabling apps they need.
What is more, every company is at a different stage of their journey to the cloud. Maybe identity and device management are your top priorities, or you are digging into long-term projects like multi-factor authentication MFA or desktop virtualization. Maybe you are working to empower access to resources via a browser.
We get that, and we want to help.
How to Monitor Your Employees — While Respecting Their Privacy
Here are some of the main points we emphasize in our end-user education:. Developers: Engineers need to be able to collaborate on code and build their workflows into Teams for remote collaboration. In other words, when they were separated from their social structure, their brain cells started dying off. Isolation and loneliness in humans are just as detrimental.
Prolonged isolation can in extreme cases result in things like anxiety and depression. As their manager, be aware of this. Do what you can to engage them socially with the rest of the team whenever possible. Also, encourage them to get out of the house, whether going to a coffee shop or co-working space to work, taking a walk with their family, exercising outside, or getting out to go to events or meetups in their area.
Yes, you lose some of those hallway conversations, and quick in-office chats, but it goes deeper than that.
Can I remotely monitor a patient's COVID-19 symptoms?
Unfortunately, our minds tend to do the opposite due to thousands upon thousands of years of primal programming that causes us to assume something is a threat by default for the sake of survival. These natural defense mechanisms are sadly unhelpful and counterproductive in the modern workplace. Without any of the non-verbal clues that come from what we see and hear, communication issues can easily arise.
Yet, we do that every day with chat and email with your remote team members. This is why as a team here at Lighthouse , any prolonged conversation on Slack we try to turn into a quick phone call. The feeling of being left out— of company celebrations, consideration for a promotion, and your opinion in general— is more common among remote employees than those on-site. When you work remotely, you miss out on so many opportunities to connect with your colleagues and managers, from the small— running into each other in the office— to the bigger— Friday happy hours a block from the office.
Another study recently shared in the Harvard Business Review found that remote workers feel more left out:. A lack of close contact with people inhibits the formation of trust, connection, and mutual purpose — three ingredients of a healthy social system. As with all of these challenges, managers like you have the power to counter this by taking steps like building trust and rapport with your remote workers by making time to get to know them, and having dedicated, regular 1 on 1s with everyone on your team weekly.
Return to Table of Contents. These are just a few of the most common challenges with managing remote teams. Understanding these unique challenges and working through them will improve engagement, productivity, and cohesion across your entire team.
I worked with a largely remote team when I ran product at KISSmetrics, and now, the Lighthouse team today is fully remote. Remote management can feel like a totally different challenge than managing people you work side by side with. Use these tips to be more conscious of the unique approaches you should take to managing remote employees. Rapport is what will help you work through problems each team member has, trust they can come to you with things important to them, and give you the benefit of the doubt when you make a mistake or an unpopular decision. Rapport does not come from doing and talking about work.
Rapport comes from getting to know them as a complete person. Demonstrating that you care is important to them and essential for you to truly understand their motivations.
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Taking the time to do this will also make them like working for you more. Remembering what you do learn about them, especially for people you only see a couple of hours a week on calls, can be hard.
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See for yourself and start your 21 day free trial here. You can also get more ideas for how to build rapport with your remote team members here. As we talked about earlier, more than half of human communication is nonverbal. If you have connectivity issues, fix it.
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Most importantly, trust your instincts when you see something might be wrong. Ask in a call, or make time to ask about it. The best way to handle this is to give remote employees a full hour every week on your calendar for one on ones. I was recently interviewed by Jevin Maltais of the Building Remote Teams podcast, where we talked about the value of one on ones for remote teams and how to make the most of them. You can listen below for the full episode Or the full transcript with show notes here :.
Here are some great remote-specific 1 on 1 questions for you to ask :. And if this is all new to you, because of working from home due to the Coronavirus quarantines , these questions are key to ask:. Want help making the most of your remote one on ones and automate some of the manual work around agenda setting, follow-ups, and prep?
These questions and more are available for easy reference in your 1 on 1s when you sign up for a free trial of Lighthouse here. One of the fastest ways to build resentment on your team is regularly canceling one on ones. There is always more to talk about even when your team members sit next to you.
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Remote employees miss out on a lot of things going on in your office. They also miss out on the kinds of information that would naturally spread across an office related to other parts of the company and brief announcements. One on ones provide an opportunity to make up for that as well as handle all the little things that build up over the course of a week. With so much to cover, you simply cannot afford to miss one for your remote team members. Pick a time that always works for you for your remote 1 on 1s and make them sacred on your calendar. If you absolutely have to, reschedule it, but never cancel.
Especially in work, words can come across more aggressive, or not as impactful as you may like. That can make meeting scheduling a real challenge. Often, you will get one person that always has calls at awkward times for them. It always made calls challenging since his day was just beginning when many others were anxious to end their day and eat dinner with their families. As product manager, I tried to schedule some of my calls with our designer for late at night. It had the desired effect of making calls easier to schedule and I know he appreciated not getting asked to wake up early for another call.
You show a lot of solidarity if every once in a while, team members in your main time zones accommodate your outlier. It will help your team remember the sacrifice their teammate is regularly making and help them empathize more with the distant, remote person. Just like the people in your office, your remote employees have goals and aspirations. Ensuring they make progress on their goals for growth and understand the career paths available by being remote avoids confusion or frustration.
Remember: you can grow people without promotions. If you follow through on the recommendation to have an hour for one on ones with your remote employees, you will have plenty of time to talk about their career development during that time. As a leader, set the example.
When situations like that arise, you should go out of your way to get the remote person into the meeting.
Professional Alcohol Monitoring
In my experience, the moment remote coworkers get their swag is a big deal ; getting to work for a company that is exciting, cutting edge, and has cool swag is part of what likely convinced them to join your company instead of something locally. Send whatever swag you have, so that your remote employees have them, too. Bonus points to send the right sizes for their husbands, wives, and kids. KISSmetrics did a summit once a year when I was there, and many fully-remote companies like Buffer actually travel as a team to exotic places like South Africa.
You also find that many companies will have smaller groups like a cross functional product team kicking off a big new feature design meet in a convenient city. This keeps your costs more manageable, while bringing back some of the benefits of being in an office together. Now, imagine how you can create a similar environment online. Remote employees are at a clear disadvantage when it comes to sharing and bouncing ideas off their team members. However, there are things you can do to make this easier. Digital tools for whiteboarding and ideating have a long way to go, but there are several that are effective replacements— or additions— to your brainstorming process.
Head of Remote at AngelList, Andreas Klinger , asked his following on Twitter what tools they prefer for whiteboarding and ideating remotely. Mural also has templates for retros, but I haven't used them. Upwork runs on MiroHQ previously called Realtime board all the way for anything related to whiteboard.
For retrospectives, Parabol :. We use parabolco for retros for Techstars Anywhere. It's purpose built to manage retros for remote teams. Google docs was another common suggestion mentioned for its simplicity, reliability, and familiarity.