Supervisor Tips for Teleworking

Managing Priorities

  • Setting realistic goals and outcomes. Work with your team to ensure that goals set are realistic and achievable, especially in the current circumstances. 
  • Encourage active collaboration. Create interactive opportunities for your direct reports to cohesively organize their projects virtually (sharing a Microsoft Box or Google Drive folder, regularly updating a spreadsheet, keeping a team calendar updated).

Communicate with Care

  • Schedule regular check-ins. Meet regularly with your direct reports (at least once a week) to ensure that your employees are receiving regular updates to help build trust. 
  • Keep video meetings on task. Create an agenda for each meeting and ensure that you are making adequate use of the time at hand. Be mindful of “video fatigue” - to avoid burnout, save video calls for meaningful discussion and collaboration, and provide briefings via email. 
  • The “watercooler” remains important. Not every meeting needs to be about work! It’s still important to make time to check on how your team is doing, and to give your employees a space to connect. 
  • Remember to verbalize nonverbal communication. Over video calls, many of us are missing the friendly nods or quick smiles that often come with in-person meetings. Be aware of the tone that you are using to speak with, and make sure to verbalize praise and greetings.

Balancing Work and Wellbeing

  • Be prepared to be flexible. This will be a difficult time for most of our colleagues. Understand that there may be delays to projects and replies to messages, and ensure that your employees are aware that you are there to help them re-prioritize as needed. 
  • Embrace the interruptions. With many of us working from home, there are bound to be interrupted meetings and phone calls. Practice patience and be mindful of the variety of challenges that your employee may be juggling. 

Onboarding New Employees

  • New Employee Orientation. New Employee Orientation is held virtually currently, on Mondays, and the employee should be prepared to attend on their first day. 
  • Regular check-ins are critical. During their first few days, the new hire will need regular calls and check-ins from their supervisor, to ensure that they feel connected and have their questions answered. 
  • Collaborate and create relationships. Provide the new hire with a chance to join projects that require collaboration. This will provide an opportunity for them to connect with their colleagues, and begin to understand some of the processes. 
  • Easy wins are necessary. At the beginning, assign easy tasks and projects, to help build confidence and trust. As the new hire slowly gains confidence, begin to evaluate what they may be ready to handle.

Leading through the Crisis

  • Opportunities for development. With the onset of the pandemic and transition to remote work, opportunities to learn and develop new skills have arisen. Encourage your employees to embrace these, and look for ways to help them grow further. 
  • Spread out responsibility. Ensure that much of the work and projects have been spread out equitably and be prepared to delegate tasks to employees who feel a reduction in workload.