Remote working was already well established prior to 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic has seen an explosion in the number of people working remotely, particularly working from home. In the longer-term, it seems likely that remote working arrangements put in place during the pandemic will be made more permanent or converted into hybrid arrangements involving remote working at least some of the time. This means that organisations, managers and employees need to find ways to make remote working sustainable, healthy and effective.
As a manager, you may be managing remote workers for the first time or you may have more people in your team working remotely (or working remotely more of the time) than you did before. It is therefore essential you reflect on your own management style and how you provide support to remote workers. Your role as the line manager of remote workers is vital in helping ensure that they remain healthy, engaged and productive.
Drawing on key behaviours that our research has shown are vital in determining the health, wellbeing and engagement of a team, this guide provides some tips on how to support employees who are working remotely, both in the short term and in the longer term, and points to the management behaviours that are particularly important for different aspects of this.
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Behaviours that support health, wellbeing and engagement
Managers play a vital role in determining the health, wellbeing and engagement of their team. Research (funded by the CIPD and led by Affinity Health at Work) identified five key behavioural areas for line managers to support the health, wellbeing and engagement of those who work for them:
- Being open, fair and consistent
- Handling conflict and people management issues
- Providing knowledge, clarity and guidance
- Building and sustaining relationships
- Supporting development
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