Leadership and Self-regulation: The Importance Now More Than Ever

Since last March, working at home has become a norm. Many companies have implemented remote work policies, asking employees to work at home to protect themselves in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

And as the prospects of heading back to the office keep shrinking, it’s about time we adjust to the new normal. Yet, most employees may have little or no experience working at home. Yes, many are still struggling to adapt and be as productive from a couch as they were at the office.

HR and managing directors have plenty to handle here. While changing from routine office life to remote working is a challenge in itself, managing the workers is the most significant hurdle.

On the employees’ side, working at home come with its challenges. From home-schooling kids, elderly parents, or not enough room for an office.

The Fear of Homeworking

There’s a persistent fear in trusting employees who work at home. Lack of constant monitoring is mostly thought to encourage laziness.

But research suggests that job performance when working at home is, at the very least, as productive as working from the office base. Well, other than encouraging social distancing, it also costs much less.

Nevertheless, managerial control doesn’t work for home-based workers. Here, productivity largely depends on self-regulation and empowered decision-making.

Due to these remote working challenges, self-regulation remains the key to increasing productivity.

Home-based Work Management Approach

With the inherited cliché of 9-5 slowly dissipating, as a manager, you need to crafts ways to monitor your team and keep them engaged. With the office at home, the management has to restructure its approach.

Trust and freedom are the keys to efficiency. Working at home may mean an employee has to share the space with their family. So, employees may clock in at their most convenient time and do their work. As such, the deal should not be hitting their set hours but achieving the set targets.

Any attempts to confine the workers to routine work patterns may miserably fail. Self-drive or autonomy, clear communication of targets, objectives, and deadlines, expected outcomes, and excellent hierarchical communication flow would serve you well.

Remote working isn’t for everyone. But home-based workers may even work more hours and perform exceptionally well than their counterparts who operate exclusively from expensive corner offices. An organization stands to save a lot on overheads. But remote working isn’t for everyone.

As a manager, you need to offer trust and freedom to your employees and create systems that empower them to self-regulate.

How to enhance self-regulation for a remote worker

To get the best out of your home-based employees, you need to facilitate them to feel comfortable working from their homes.

Some of the things your firm can do include helping them turn a spot in their house into their home office. Well, this means doing the following:

  • Get the right home office furniture
  • Help them install Wi-Fi
  • Get them a good PC or laptop that can stand long working hours
  • Acquire the best conferencing and security software

Since the employees would be working at home, it is also best if you consider stepping in to help them settle overhead costs, they incur as a result of it. Of course, this further motivates them to work comfortably at home.

Work patterns and the nature of the emotional contract between employer and employee has shifted and continues to evolve. Thus, there’s a need to adapt to a new relationship model between managers and workers, home-based workers, to be precise.

As a CEO or an HR manager, showing leadership, and encouraging your team to self-regulate will largely determine the overall performance of your company during this pandemic period, and beyond. Instead of wasting time on commuting, employees can invest the time on adequate rest, and be more efficient when they turn up on the projects assigned to them.

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