By Claire West

With heavy snowfall across the UK causing widespread disruption, businesses are looking at ways to minimise the impact of such adverse conditions. Getting employees to work from home is one such option - however businesses are sometimes not sure about they can effectively manage remote staff.

Stonebow, People 1st's training company, has the following top tips for managers to effectively manage staff working from home:

1. It sounds basic, but make sure staff have access to your servers and have an excellent internet connection. Without the right set-up, remote working is impossible.

2. Trust is key and lead by example. You must trust your team and ensure they trust you. Make sure you are available to talk to them if and when they need to talk to you. Lead by example and always return calls straight away if you miss a call. It is also essential that you send the right message regarding key performance targets. By never missing a deadline, you will set the right precedent.

If they perceive you to be slacking when working from home - they too are unlikely to fulfil their responsibilities

3. Generally managers without experience of leading remote teams fear the loss of control and want to check up on them. Managers should instead set goals for their employees and manage by outputs, not hours on the clock. You don't need to micro-manage and watch over staff.

4. Empower your staff - give all your staff the confidence to make their own decisions and ensure they understand that mistakes are allowed.

5. Be careful about how you communicate - As people can't read your body language, they can easily misinterpret you over the phone or via email. Always think twice before sending emails or making calls in a hurry.

6. Ensure your staff switch off their computers at the end of the day. They may want to keep working to prove their commitment. By thanking them at the end of the day and asking them to switch off their computers, you demonstrate your trust in them.

Finally, to cement relationships with your remote working staff set aside time for coaching and mentoring as this will help to ensure you build a dynamic team that continually delivers.

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